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Buried under the snow of following years, the coarse-grained hoar frost compresses into lighter layers than the winter snow.As a result, alternating bands of lighter and darker ice can be seen in an ice core.Hand augers can be rotated by a T handle or a brace handle, and some can be attached to handheld electric drills to power the rotation.With the aid of a tripod for lowering and raising the auger, cores up to 50 m deep can be retrieved, but the practical limit is about 30 m for engine-powered augers, and less for hand augers.It can be up to about 20 m thick, and though it has scientific value (for example, it may contain subglacial microbial populations), Cores are often drilled in areas such as Antarctica and central Greenland where the temperature is almost never warm enough to cause melting, but the summer sun can still alter the snow.

When the sun approaches its lowest point in the sky, the temperature drops and hoar frost forms on the top layer.

The cuttings (chips of ice cut away by the drill) must be drawn up the hole and disposed of or they will reduce the cutting efficiency of the drill.

The fluid must have a low kinematic viscosity to reduce tripping time (the time taken to pull the drilling equipment out of the hole and return it to the bottom of the hole).

These data can be combined to find the climate model that best fits all the available data. Coastal areas are more likely to include material of marine origin, such as sea salt ions.

Greenland ice cores contain layers of wind-blown dust that correlate with cold, dry periods in the past, when cold deserts were scoured by wind.

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An ice core is a core sample that is typically removed from an ice sheet or a high mountain glacier.