Ikaite - the icy version of calcium carbonate from Antarctica


Natural Ikaite



Ikaite Crystal closeup


Calcium carbonate can crystallize in a hydrated form as ikaite at low temperatures. The hydration water in ikaite records the δ18O of ambient water, a feature potentially useful for reconstructing δ18O of local seawater. We obtained the first downcore δ18O record of natural ikaite hydration waters and crystals collected from the Antarctic Peninsula (AP), a region sensitive to climate fluctuations.

Ikaite in Antarctica cores



Synthetic Ikaite



Ikaite can be synthesized and decomposed in lab, under different physical and chemical conditions.  
SEM image of synthetic Ikaite crystal
SEM image of synthetic Ikaite crystal



Both natural and synthetic ikaite were studied on x-ray beam lines on synchrotron facilities at Daresbury and Diamond Light Source in England.
Ariel view of Synchroton facility




Natural Ikaite

Growing Synthetic Ikaite