Ali Criscitiello holding an ice core in the ice core archive freezer

The Canadian Ice Core Lab (CICL)

Representing more than 10,000 years of evidence of changes to our climate in 1.4 kilometres of ice core samples, the Canadian Ice Core Collection at the University of Alberta represents invaluable potential for researchers around the world to answer critical climate change questions. With a well-established reputation for research excellence in the Canadian north, researchers from the University of Alberta have spent decades getting to the bottom of what is happening at the top of the Earth, a region increasingly recognized for its valuable water, mineral, and energy resources.

Current Status

The Canadian Ice Core Lab comprises samples drilled from across the Canadian Arctic (including the Devon and Prince of Wales ice caps), as well as from non-polar mountain regions across the provinces and territories.

The current status of our ice core sample inventory in the archive:

Total ice core samples: 1317
Total length of ice in the archive: ~1.4 km
Oldest sample: ~79,000 BCE
Youngest sample: 2016

Ice Core News and Updates

What lies beneath: Innovative project set to cement Canada's leadership in Arctic research

Hyper-saline lakes beneath one of the most studied ice caps in the Canadian Arctic? Maybe even an entire briny network weaving a watery web under the ice? It sounds more like science fiction than science fact. But armed with ambition, innovative ideas, cutting-edge tools, and priceless support from one of Canada's foremost foundations-plus a cozy parka or two-these scientists are set to help us believe the once unbelievable, changing the face of the Canadian science community along the way.

Wide shot of ice core samples in long silver tubes stored in the archive freezer.

Ice Core Database

We have collected ice cores from Prince of Wales Icefield and the Agassiz, Devon, and Penny ice caps all along the Arctic Archipelago.

Visit the interactive map on our Ice Core Database page to view information on our ice core samples (including drilling locations, age/depth of cores and more).

Ice core lab equipment for ion chromotography, spectroscopy, and particle size analysis

Laboratory Services

Our facility offers a variety of instrumentation for the collection, processing, and analysis of ice cores. Check out our Services & Equipment page for more information.

Contact Us

Alison Criscitiello, PhD

Office phone: 780-492-0867

Anne Myers, PhD

Ice Core Laboratory Analyst
Office phone: 780-492-0867

Mailing Address

Canadian Ice Core Archive (CICA)
Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences
Faculty of Science, University of Alberta
1-09 South Academic Building (SAB)
116th St & 85 Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2R3