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RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science Astro-Glaciology Laboratory

Director: Yuko Motizuki (D.Sc.)

Research Summary

Yuko  Motizuki

Our laboratory is establishing a new cross-disciplinary field that combines astrophysics, astrochemistry, and glaciology. We measure isotopic and ionic concentrations in terrestrial ice cores and develop analytical techniques and instrumentation. The ice cores preserve atmospheric information of the past, and some of them may contain stratospheric components that are affected by cosmic radiation. The research thus encompasses volcanic eruptions, solar activity, the relationships with climate change, and more. To extract signatures of astronomical events is one of our ultimate targets. We are also studying the evolution of molecules in space. These investigations will all contribute to an enhanced understanding of the relationships between the Universe and Earth.

Related Research Fields

  • Earth and planetary science
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering


  • Ice cores
  • Solar activity variations
  • Isotopic analyses
  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Climate change

Selected Publications

  • 1. Yuko Motizuki, Yoichi Nakai, Kazuya Takahashi, Yu Vin Sahoo, Junya Hirose, Masaki Yumoto, Masayuki Maruyama, Michio Sakashita, Kiwamu Kase, Satoshi Wada, Hideaki Motoyama, and Yasushige Yano.:
    "A novel laser melting sampler for discrete, sub-centimeter depth-resolved analyses of stable water isotopes in ice cores"
    Journal of Glaciology, 1-7, 2023.
  • 2. Elizabeth R Thomas, Diana O Vladimirova, Dieter R Tetzner, B. Daniel Emanuelsson, Nathan Chellman, Daniel A. Dixon, Hugues Goosse, Mackenzie M. Grieman, Amy C.F. King, Michael Sigl, Danielle Udy, Tessa R. Vance, Dominic A. Winski, V. Holly L. Winton, Nancy A.N. Bertler, Akira Hori, Chavarukonam M Laluraj, Joseph R. McConnell, Yuko Motizuki, Hideaki Motoyama, Yoichi Nakai, Kazuya Takahashi, Franciele Schwanck, Jefferson Cardia Simoes, Filipe G. L. Lindau, Mirko Severi, Rita Traversi, Sarah Wauthy, Cunde Xiao, Jiao Yang, and Ellen Mosely-Thompson.:
    "Ice core chemistry database: an Antarctic compilation of sodium and sulfate records spanning the past 2000 years"
    Earth System Science Data, 15, 2517ー2532, 2023.
  • 3. Satoru Katsuda, Teruaki Enoto, Andrea N. Lommen, Koji Mori, Yuko Motizuki, Motoki Nakajima, Nathaniel C. Ruhl, Kosuke Sato, Gunter Stober, Makoto S. Tashiro, Yukikatsu Terada and Kent S. Wood.:
    "Long-Term Density Trend in the Mesosphere and Lower Thermosphere from Occultations of the Crab Nebula with X-Ray Astronomy Satellites"
    published online, Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics,128, 2, e2022JA030797 (29 pages), 2023.
  • 4. Kazuya Takahashi, Yu Vin Sahoo, Yoichi Nakai, Hideaki Motoyama, Yuko Motizuki.:
    "Annually resolved profiles of δ34S and sulfate in shallow ice core DF01 (Dome Fuji, Antarctica) spanning the nineteenth century and their geochemical implications"
    Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 127, 9, e2021JD036137 (12 pages), 2022.
  • 5. A. Miyazaki, M. Tsuge, H. Hidaka, Y. Nakai and N. Watanabe.:
    "Direct Determination of the Activation Energy for Diffusion of OH Radicals on Water Ice"
    Astrophysical Journal Letters, 940, L2, (7pages), 2022.
  • 6. Y. V. Sahoo, Y. Motizuki, Y. Nakai, and K. Takahashi.:
    "Annually resolved d-excess record from a shallow ice core (DFS10) near Dome Fuji, East Antarctica"
    RIKEN Accel. Prog. Rep. 54, 74, 2021.
  • 7. K. Kanzawa, F. Miyake, K. Horiuchi, K. Sasa, K. Takano, M. Matsumura, T. Takahashi, Y. Motizuki, K. Takahashi, Y. Nakai, K. Ohtani, Y. Tada, Y. Ochiai, H. Motoyama, H. Matsuzaki, A. Yamazaki, Y. Muramatsu, and T. Yamagata.:
    "High-Resolution 10Be and 36Cl Data from the Antarctic Dome Fuji Ice Core (~100 years around 5480 BCE): An Unusual Grand Solar Minimum Occurrence?"
    Journal of Geophysical Research - Space Physics, 126, 10, e2021JA029378 (10 pages), 2021.
  • 8. E. Tsantini, T. Minami, M. A. C. Ontiveros, K. Takahashi and J. C. Melgarejo.:
    "Sulfur Isotope Analysis to Examine the Provenance of Cinnabar Used in Wall Paintings in the Roman domus Avinyo (Barcelona)"
    Minerals, 11(1), 6 (13 pages), 2021. doi:10.3390/min11010006
  • 9. Takeshi Minami, Kousuke Hatanaka, Yuko Motizuki, Yoichi Nakai, and Kazuya Takahashi.:
    "A method of collecting trace amounts of vermilion from artifacts for source estimation by sulfur isotope (δ34S) analysis: use of sulfur-free adhesive"
    Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 28, 102027, 2019.
  • 10. Kazuya Takahashi, Yoichi Nakai, Yuko Motizuki, Toshiyuki Ino, Shigeru Ito, Satoru B. Ohkubo, Takeshi Minami, Yuichi Takaku, Yoshitaka Yamaguchi, Miho Tanaka, and Hideaki Motoyama.:
    "High-sensitivity sulfur isotopic measurements for Antarctic ice core analyses"
    Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 32, 1991-1998, 2018.

Recent Research Results

Related Links

Lab Members

Principal investigator

Yuko Motizuki

Core members

Kazuya Takahashi
Senior Research Scientist
Yoichi Nakai
Senior Research Scientist
Yu Vin Sahoo
Technical Staff I
Yasushige Yano
Senior Visiting Scientist
Kunihiko Kodera
Senior Visiting Scientist
Hisashi Hayakawa
Visiting Scientist

Contact Information

2-1 Hirosawa,
Wako, Saitama
351-0198, Japan