Drill, Blue Ice (BID)

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Climate Controls on Aerosol Fluxes in Taylor Valley (PI Aciego)
IDDO Driller Mike Jayred operated the Blue Ice Drill (BID) in support of PI Sarah Aciego's aerosol fluxes fieldwork at Taylor Glacier. All science samples were successfully collected in early November 2015, with 20 meters of core collected during this short duration project.

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (PI Petrenko)
IDDO Driller Mike Jayred operated the Blue Ice Drill (BID) in support of PI Vas Petrenko's C-14 of atmospheric methane fieldwork at Taylor Glacier. All science samples were successfully collected, with over 480 meters of core drilled over 35 drilling days. In total, over 40 holes were completed through approximately 530 drill runs. IDDO support of this three-year project is now concluded.

Driller Mike Jayred attaches Blue Ice Drill cargo to a waiting helicopter at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. Credit: Heidi Roop

2015 Summer

Equipment Development

Blue Ice Drill – Deep
Engineers monitored the progress of new cutters deployed for testing in Greenland, in an effort to improve Blue Ice Drill – Deep (BID–Deep) core quality. The drill was able to drill to approximately 155 meters using the new step cutters and trying a variety of other techniques before core quality was no longer acceptable. This is approximately 15 meters deeper than the prior year, but still short of the initial 200 meter depth goal. Interactions with the IDPO Science Advisory Board will determine if additional efforts should be made for quality core at greater depths.

2014 Winter

Continued Success on Taylor Glacier

On Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys region, driller Mike Jayred successfully drilled over 930 meters of large-diameter ice cores for PIs Vas Petrenko, Ed Brook and Jeff Severinghaus using the IDDO Blue Ice Drill. Over 1,000 drill runs were completed and 52 holes were drilled. Cores were again melted onsite for in-field gas analysis. The Blue Ice Drill is now being returned to Madison for minor repairs, cleaning, and re-packing prior to its use in Greenland in May.

Driller Mike Jayred and science assistant Jacob Ward operate the Blue Ice Drill. Credit: IDDO

View of the sled used to transport the large-diameter ice cores. Credit: IDDO

2014 Summer

Cosmogenic Carbon-14 Core Project Successfully Completed Following Early Season Challenges

During the recent Arctic field season, IDDO again supported PI Vas Petrenko's Carbon-14 sampling efforts outside of Summit Station, Greenland using IDDO's Blue Ice Drill (BID). Despite early season challenges that saw one of the two IDDO drillers and three of Petrenko's science technicians returned home for medical reasons, the team rebounded during the following flight period. With assistance from additional science technicians and help from IDDO drillers already in Greenland for the IDD test, the team was able to successfully complete all drilling and sampling objectives. The large-diameter ice cores drilled by the BID were again melted onsite for in-field gas analysis. In addition to the use of the base BID system, IDDO also tested components of the new BID-Deep system, which will enable the drill to reach depths down to 200 meters. This testing was in preparation for a related project being conducted by Petrenko in the Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. BID-Deep testing resulted in the drilling of a 187 meter borehole. Core quality was found to be an issue after approximately 140 meters, however IDDO engineers were able to determine that the fabrication of less aggressive cutters should substantially improve core quality at these depths in the future. Over the course of the season, a total of 59 holes were drilled over 26 days of drilling. 1258 meters of core were recovered in a total of 1151 drill runs. The drill was returned to Madison in mid-July, where it was repaired and subsequently shipped to Antarctica in late August.

Josh Goetz and Elizabeth Morton operate the BID-Deep at Summit Greenland

Josh Goetz and Elizabeth Morton operate the BID-Deep at Summit, Greenland. Credit: Ben Hmiel, University of Rochester.

In addition to the large field projects supported by IDDO in Greenland, IDDO also provided hand auger and Sidewinder equipment to PI David Noone for the fourth and final season of his four-year field project. All equipment was returned to Madison for repair and cleaning following the field work. Another project in Northwest Greenland, PI Erich Osterberg completed shallow drilling outside of Thule Air Base, also using IDDO hand auger equipment. That equipment is in the process of being returned to Madison on flights of opportunity out of Thule.

Late in the third Quarter, in addition to all of the drill system repairs and modifications going on, IDDO also looked toward the upcoming Antarctic season, working with the Berg Field Center (BFC) in McMurdo as well as with PIs to plan for a variety of hand auger projects during the upcoming austral summer. IDDO also initiated the hiring process for the SPICE Core project, to be conducted at the South Pole using the Intermediate Depth Drill, and for the WAIS Divide Ice Core project, in which the DISC Drill will be fully disassembled and packed for return to the U.S.

2014 Spring

Changing Seasons for Field Project Support: Wrapping up a Successful Antarctic Season and Readying for a Bustling Arctic Season

Intermediate Depth Drill cargo in New York, ready for transport to Greenland

Intermediate Depth Drill cargo in New York, ready for transport to Greenland.

The second quarter (February 1, 2014 - April 30, 2014) saw several Antarctic projects closed out, with final End-of-Season Reports submitted for the Blue Ice Drill's work on Taylor Glacier and for a successful first deployment of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Logging Winch at Siple Dome. Later in the quarter, IDDO also worked hard to compile and review information for three Support Information Packages for the following 2014-2015 Antarctic field season.

Substantial efforts during the second quarter brought the final setup of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) to life. The majority of the equipment was shipped to Scotia, NY by the end of March, with certain critical components shipped shortly after. A team of six drillers completed the PQ process, and all travel arrangements for their deployment were made. The drillers deployed to Scotia on April 21, but were returned home on April 24, due to a mechanical issue with the LC-130 Hercules fleet. IDDO worked with the NSF, CH2M HILL Polar Field Services and the 109th Air National Guard to weigh options for an abbreviated test season and on April 30, the last day of the quarter, IDDO received a call that the northbound Greenland flights were back on. The IDDO crew made it to Summit, Greenland, on May 6 and had the first core drilled at the Isi test site on May 14. The testing of the Intermediate Depth Drill (in Greenland) is now finished. The last core was drilled on Saturday, May 31. The final depth of the test borehole is 285.3 meters. The drillers are now working on packing to prepare the first round of cargo for a flight to Kangerlussuaq on June 4. The remainder of the cargo is scheduled to fly to Kangerlussuaq on the June 10 flight. The drill team was able to complete all desired tests except for the brittle ice drilling test, due to the Hercules issue delaying the start of the field season.

IDDO continued monthly teleconferences with ASC and the SPICE Core PIs in preparation for the IDD's deployment to the South Pole in November 2014. In addition, engineer/ driller Tanner Kuhl attended the 2014 SPICE Core Planning Meeting at the University of California-Irvine.

IDDO worked with NSF, ASC and the dedicated cargo personnel in Scotia, NY to expedite the return of the Blue Ice Drill (BID) system to Madison after vessel-loading issues in McMurdo threatened to delay the return of much of the Antarctic cargo. The BID was needed in Madison in order for IDDO to implement new BID-Deep components and turn the system around for the upcoming Arctic field season. By the end of April, all cargo was packed for PI Vas Petrenko's upcoming project at Isi Camp, and driller Mike Jayred and engineer/driller Josh Goetz were PQed. Jayred and Goetz subsequently deployed on May 11.

Blue Ice Drill Deep System at IDDO warehouse

Blue Ice Drill - Deep System at IDDO warehouse.

Blue Ice Drill - Deep winch and tripod assembly

Blue Ice Drill - Deep winch and tripod assembly.

IDDO also prepared for a few upcoming hand auger projects in Greenland. Kits were packed and shipped for PI Sarah Das, who used one of IDDO's new 3-Inch hand auger kits to drill shallow cores at one site on Disko Island and at two sites on the Nussuaq Peninsula in late April. A hand auger and Sidewinder kit were packed and shipped for PI Erich Osterberg, who plans to drill cores up to 40 meters depth outside of Thule airbase in late May. Initial preparations were also made for the packing and shipping of hand auger and Sidewinder equipment for PI David Noone's project at Summit Station. Noone's field work in late June and early July will mark the fourth and final year of his four-year project. One additional hand auger project was completed early in the quarter for PI Mike McKay at Bowling Green State University. McKay utilized a new IDDO hand auger to collect river and lake ice samples in the Midwest US as well as in Canada. His project, funded through the NSF Division of Environmental Biology, is scheduled to continue into 2016.

In addition to field season planning and cargo preparation, IDDO also completed proposal support estimates for thirteen separate science projects for the 2014 NSF Antarctic Proposal solicitation. Letters of Support and Cost Estimates were provided to PIs for inclusion in their proposal submissions.

2014 Spring

New Technology for the Community

New Blue Ice Drill-Deep System
IDDO completed the building, final testing and integration, along with troubleshooting, of the new BID-Deep system. This new drill is a modification of the base Blue Ice Drill (BID) and has the capability of reaching depths of 200 meters. Final testing and packing was completed by the end of April, and the BID-Deep was shipped to Greenland in May for field testing. The base BID will be used on PI Vas Petrenko's project 10 km north of Summit.

2013 Winter

Equipment Development

Blue Ice Drill-Deep
The Blue Ice Drill-Deep is a new drill based on the original Blue Ice Drill (BID) with the capability of reaching depths of 200 meters. The design and procurement of all drill parts and components were completed in the first quarter; all major assembly of new subsystems was completed as well. Modifications and repairs to the base BID, the final assembly of the BID-Deep Drill, and the lab testing will be completed after IDDO receives the base BID back from Antarctica. The BID-Deep system will be shipped to Greenland for testing and fieldwork this summer.

New winch/cable assembly for the BID - Deep

New winch/cable assembly for the BID - Deep.

2013 Fall

Equipment Development

Blue Ice Drill-Deep
IDDO is continuing with the development of the Blue Ice Drill-Deep (BIDD) system, based on the existing Blue Ice Drill (BID) system. The new system will be aimed at achieving a depth of 200 m and will eventually be used to acquire very large amounts of ice from Taylor Glacier that are needed for the study of cosmogenic carbon-14. The schedule for development is such that the first field test of the BIDD will be in Greenland in the summer of 2014.


2013 Summer

Scientific Drilling

Greenland Cosmogenic C-14 Cores (PI Petrenko)
A team of three IDDO drillers, Lou Albershardt, Mike Jayred, and Tanner Kuhl, accompanied by a field science team was able to successfully utilize a Badger-Eclipse Drill to drill two holes for firn air pumping studies outside of Summit Station, Greenland. One hole was completed to 90 meters and another completed to 102 meters. In addition, the IDDO-designed Blue Ice Drill was put to the test to determine its ability to collect firn cores. The Blue Ice Drill is expected to undergo several modifications over the next year to enable additional firn coring in Greenland as well as to extend its depth capabilities in both firn and ice.

Image of Badger-Eclipse drilling outside of Summit Station, Greenland

Badger-Eclipse drilling outside of Summit Station, Greenland. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

2013 Summer

Equipment Development

Blue Ice Drill-Deep
After finishing the design and fabrication of a new anti-torque and modifications of the cutter heads for the Blue Ice Drill-Deep (BID-Deep), IDDO successfully completed testing of firn coring capabilities in Greenland in May of 2013. IDDO plans to finish the entire BID-Deep design by September 30, 2013.

Photo showing Blue Ice Drill firn coring testing in Greenland. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

Blue Ice Drill firn coring testing in Greenland. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

2013 Spring

Equipment Development

Blue Ice Drill-Deep:
IDDO finished the final design and procured all components for the modified Blue Ice Drill-Deep. The system has been completed and shipped to Greenland for testing by PI Vas Petrenko during the 2013 Arctic field season. Previously, the Blue Ice Drill had only been used to collected large diameter cores (9.5 inches) to depths of approximately 25 meters in blue ice. The modifications to the Blue Ice Drill are expected to allow it to now also collect large diameter cores (9.5 inches) in firn and to depths in excess of 100 meters.

2011 Winter

Drilling Completed at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica for Study of Ancient Atmospheres

Using the Blue Ice Drill developed by IDDO, an IDDO contract driller successfully completed drilling for samples dedicated to the study of ancient atmospheric composition. Over 800 meters of high quality, large (9.5-inch diameter) ice core was recovered, bringing the drilling to a successful completion on schedule. The science experiment, led by PI Jeff Severinghaus, provides unique and important evidence of past atmospheric composition.

To view a short video showcasing the Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Glacier, visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/USIceDrillingVideos

Photo of IDDO drilling team

The Blue Ice Drill is designed to collect large volumes of ice (9.5-inch diameter cores) in a short period of time. The large volumes of ice enable ultra-trace gas measurements, such as the carbon-14 of methane, that histroically have been precluded by sample size limitations of ice cores. Photo courtesy of Tanner Kuhl.

2011 Spring

New Drilling Technology Enables Study of Ancient Atmospheres

The new Blue Ice Drill, designed and built for the University of California - San Diego with ARRA funding from NSF-OPP, was deployed to the field for the first time in Taylor Valley, Antarctica with resounding success. The drill design proved very effective for collecting large volumes of ice in a short period of time. Over 600 meters of high quality, large (9.5-inch diameter) ice core was recovered and at a faster rate than anticipated. The large quantity of high quality core, which is needed to effectively measure rate gases, was melted and analyzed on site. The science experiment, led by PI Jeff Severinghaus, provides unique and important evidence of past atmospheric composition. The Blue Ice Drill will be used again in 2011-2012 for the second field season of the project. To view a short video showcasing the Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Valley, Antarctica, visit: http://icedrill.org/equipment/videos.shtml#blueice

2010 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Taylor Glacier
Despite broken gearboxes early in season, PI Jeff Severinghaus reported that drillers Tanner Kuhl and Robb Kulin produced core with the newly designed Blue Ice Drill twice as fast as specified in the science requirements. In addition, the science goal of producing 7000 kg of ice with the drill was achieved.

photo of Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica

Drillers with the Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica. Photo: Jeff Severinghaus

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Requesting Ice Drilling Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of support from the IDPO-IDDO, you must contact IDPO ( IceDrill@Dartmouth.edu ) at least six weeks before you submit your proposal to obtain a Letter of Support and a Scope of Work document that MUST be included in your proposal.
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Program Information

The U.S. Ice Drilling Program conducts integrated planning for the ice drilling science and technology communities, and provides drilling technology and operational support that enables the community to advance the frontiers of climate and environmental science.
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