Field Projects

2016 Winter

Successful Deployment of IDDO's Two New Rock Coring Drills

The Antarctic Support Contract (ASC) team made significant contributions to the successes this season through exceptional efforts to expedite additional drill equipment to both sites during the season and to swiftly return the equipment to McMurdo Station to meet the cargo vessel returning to the U.S.

2016 Winter

Successful Deployment of IDDO's Two New Rock Coring Drills

The Winkie Drill was deployed to the Ohio Range region (PI Sujoy Mukhopadhyay: G-438-M) in late November for its first funded field project. IDDO engineer Grant Boeckmann and the science team drilled a series of shallow boreholes that resulted in the successful collection of five rock core samples and one sample of frozen and largely unconsolidated debris. The Winkie Drill system functioned very well for its first official deployment. Refinements will be made when the equipment returns from Antarctica this spring.

The assembled Winkie Drill system at the Ohio Range. Credit: Grant Boeckmann.

Packaged rock cores drilled with the Winkie Drill. Credit: Sujoy Mukhopadhyay.

The Ohio Range field team after their first successful rock core with the Winkie Drill Credit: Sujoy Mukhopadhyay.

2016 Winter

Successful Deployment of IDDO's Two New Rock Coring Drills

In the first quarter, IDDO's Antarctic field efforts included the successful deployment of two new rock coring drills.

The Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill was deployed to the Pirrit Hills (PI John Stone; I-277-M) by traverse from WAIS Divide in December. IDDO Drillers Tanner Kuhl, Mike Jayred and Clayton Armstrong recovered more than 7 meters of ice core and 8 meters of rock core at a depth of 150 meters. Development of the new drill system, which is based on a field-proven minerals exploration drill rig, was completed in PY 2016. The system is capable of coring rock below 700 meters of ice. IDDO will work during the upcoming summer to perform maintenance and upgrades on the system to ready it for future field work.

ASIG Drill in operation at Pirrit Hills. Credit: Tanner Kuhl.

IDDO drillers Clayton Armstrong (at left) and Mike Jayred (at right) operating the ASIG Drill at Pirrit Hills. Credit: Tanner Kuhl.

A section of the 8 meters of rock core collected with the ASIG Drill. Credit: Tanner Kuhl.

2016 Winter

2016-2017 Antarctic Field Season Wraps Up

In addition to the two sub-glacial rock drilling projects described above, IDDO successfully supported three projects at or near the South Pole, and one at WAIS Divide, during the 2016-2017 Antarctic field season. South Pole Ice Core (SPICECORE; PI Murat Aydin; I-164-S) operations were completed in just three years at South Pole, with 1751 meters of ice core drilled, one round of borehole logging (PI Ryan Bay; I-194-S) with the Intermediate Depth Logging Winch completed, and all equipment has now been removed from the site. Engineers Jay Johnson and Josh Goetz completed all remaining activities this season, with help from the science team onsite. Also near South Pole Station, drillers Mike Waszkiewicz and Elizabeth Morton completed a number of holes ranging from 5 to 125 meters depth using the IDDO 4-Inch Drill system (PI Michelle Koutnik; I-193-S). In West Antarctica, despite needing to make a last-minute operator change, borehole logging with the Deep Logging Winch was also successfully completed at WAIS Divide (PI Erin Pettit; I-166-M).

Laser dust logging of the SPICECORE borehole. Credit: Jay Johnson.

The IDDO 4-Inch Drill near South Pole Station. Credit: Mike Waszkiewicz.

Borehole logging at WAIS Divide. Credit: Elizabeth Morton.

Decommissioning of the SPICECORE drill site. Credit: Joe Souney.

2016 Fall

IDDO Equipment On Its Way to Antarctica for 2016-2017 Field Season

With the exception of Hand Auger and Sidewinder kits shipped from Madison, WI in late August, all IDDO cargo prepared for the 2016-2017 field season was successfully loaded onto one full flatbed truck on September 16, 2016 with only inches of room to spare. A number of field projects will be supported across Antarctica through use of a 4-Inch Drill system, IDDO's Intermediate Depth Logging Winch and Deep Logging Winch, components of the Intermediate Depth Drill system, and by IDDO's newest sub-glacial rock coring equipment, the Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill and the Winkie Drill. Engineers and drillers will begin deploying in early November 2016.

Jay Johnson loads the 53-foot Conestoga trailer with cargo. Credit: IDDO

A happy IDDO team in front of the fully-loaded Conestoga trailer. Credit: IDDO

The loaded Conestoga trailer leaves the IDDO Warehouse, bound for Port Hueneme, CA. Credit: IDDO

2016 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic 2016-2017 Projects

During the 2016-2017 Antarctic field season, IDDO is providing support to the following projects:

(1) the South Pole Ice Core project (PI Aydin; I-164-S) will conclude its operations near South Pole Station. IDDO personnel will assist with shipping of all remaining ice cores (616 meters) from South Pole to McMurdo Station, and will disassemble the remaining drill equipment, core handling equipment, and drill tent, and prepare those items for retrograde to the US.

(2) the Laser Dust Logging and Fluorimetric Scanning of SPICE project (PI Bay; I-194-S) will use the Intermediate Depth Drill winch, cable, and tower – which is currently onsite at South Pole – to log the South Pole Ice Core (I-164-S) borehole with an oriented laser dust logger. The data from the borehole probe will be used to investigate the depth-age relationship in the South Pole Ice Core, to identify ash layers, and to investigate ice flow and ice sheet physical properties. IDDO plans to have one engineer onsite to operate the equipment, and the IDDO Intermediate Depth Logging Winch will also be onsite as a backup winch for the project.

(3) the Characterization of Upstream Ice and Firn Dynamics Affecting the South Pole Ice (SPICE) Core project (PI Koutnik; I-193-S) will use an IDDO hand auger and a 4-Inch Drill to drill several holes to depths ranging from 5 to 120 meters near South Pole Station. The holes will be utilized for the installation of strain meters as well as one 40-meter thermistor string. One 120-meter firn core will be collected and retrograded to the US. IDDO will deploy two drillers for the project.

(4) the Constraining Plio-Pleistocene West Antarctic Ice Sheet behavior from the Ohio Range and Scott Glacier project (PI Mukhopadhyay; G-438-M) will use IDDO's new Winkie Drill to core the ice-bed interface and subglacial bedrock at a site in the Ohio Range. Collected rock samples will be shipped to the PI's home institution for further analyses. IDDO will deploy one driller for the project.

(5) the Velvet Ice – Evolution of Fabric and Texture in Ice at WAIS Divide, West Antarctica project (PI Pettit; I-166-M) will use the IDDO Deep Logging Winch and the services of one IDDO winch operator to log the WAIS Divide Ice Core borehole with two different instruments to study the evolution of ice fabric and texture.

(6) the RAID Antarctic Field Trial project (PI Goodge; D-551-M) will use the IDDO Intermediate Depth Logging Winch to test a new optical borehole logger that is being designed and built for RAID. The new optical borehole logger will be deployed in the RAID field trial borehole near Minna Bluff.

(7) the EXPROBE–WAIS: Exposed Rock Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, A Test for Interglacial Ice Sheet Collapse project (PI Stone; I-277-M) will use IDDO's new Agile Sub-Ice Geological (ASIG) Drill to core the ice-bed interface and subglacial bedrock at a site near Pirrit Hills in West Antarctica. Collected rock samples will be shipped to the PI's home institution for further analyses. IDDO will deploy three drillers for the project.

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2016-2017 field season locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text above.

2016 Fall

Requesting Ice Drilling Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of support from IDPO-IDDO, you must include a Letter of Support/Scope of Work (LOS/SOW) document from IDPO-IDDO in the proposal. Researchers are asked to provide IDPO-IDDO with a detailed support request six weeks prior to the date the support document is required. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

For further information on requesting IDPO-IDDO support, visit our website at http://www.icedrill.org/scientists/scientists.shtml or contact us at IceDrill at Dartmouth.edu.

2016 Fall

Field Support to Science Projects

Current - Antarctic 2016-2017

  • Borehole Logging for RAID Minna Bluff Antarctic Field Trial (Goodge and Severinghaus)
  • Exposed Rock Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Stone)
  • Laser Dust Logging of South Pole Ice Core Borehole (Bay)
  • Ohio Range Bedrock Samples (Mukhopadhyay and Ackert)
  • South Pole Ice Core Project Close-out (Aydin)
  • Upstream Ice and Firn Dynamics Affecting the South Pole Ice Core (Koutnik and Hawley)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)

Upcoming - Arctic 2017

  • Dynamic Observations of the Microstructural Evolution of Firn Under Load (Baker)
  • Influence of natural ice microstructure on rheology in general shear (Gerbi)
  • Microbes and Ice Formation in Inland Waters, USA (McKay)
  • Refreezing in the firn of the Greenland ice sheet (Rennermalm)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/

2016 Summer

GreenTrACS Successfully Uses IDDO Hand Auger and Sidewinder to Collect Shallow Ice Cores

In May and June, PI Erich Osterberg's Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies (GreenTrACS) field team had excellent success with an IDDO hand auger and Sidewinder on a snowmobile traverse between Raven Camp and Summit Station in Greenland, collecting seven ice cores measuring 20-30 meters in length each. The ice cores will be used to help determine the patterns of snow accumulation in Western Greenland over the past 20-40 years, and to evaluate surface melt refreeze and englacial meltwater storage in the Western Greenland percolation zone over the past 20-40 years. For more information about the project, visit:
http://greentracs.blogspot.com/

PI Erich Osterberg drills with the IDDO Hand Auger and Sidwinder system in Greenland. Credit: GreenTrACS Team/Dartmouth College

2016 Spring

Requesting Ice Drilling Support

If you are preparing a proposal that includes any kind of ice drilling or ice coring support from IDPO-IDDO, you must complete a Field Project Support Requirements Form and submit it to IDPO-IDDO via icedrill@ dartmouth.edu at least six weeks before your proposal deadline. Once IDPO-IDDO receives your Field Project Support Requirements Form, we will provide you with a Letter of Support and Scope of Work/Cost Estimate document that MUST be included with your proposal. If you are submitting a proposal to NSF, the Letter of Support and Scope of Work/Cost Estimate document should be included as Supplemental Information in your proposal, and it is recommended that you also notify the relevant NSF Program Officer that your proposal requires support from IDPO-IDDO.

2016 Spring

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current - Arctic 2016

  • Greenland Traverse for Accumulation and Climate Studies, Greenland (Osterberg)

Upcoming - North America 2016

  • Environmental Archaeology Ice Cores, Wyoming (Lee)

Upcoming - Antarctic 2016-2017

  • Borehole Logging for RAID Minna Bluff Antarctic Field Trial (Goodge and Severinghaus)
  • Exposed Rock Beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (Stone)
  • Laser Dust Logging of South Pole Ice Core Borehole (Bay)
  • Ohio Range Bedrock Samples (Mukhopadhyay and Ackert)
  • Upstream Ice and Firn Dynamics affecting the South Pole Ice Core (Koutnik and Hawley)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)

Upcoming - North America 2017

  • Microbes and Ice Formation in Inland Waters, USA (McKay)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/

2015 Winter

SPICECORE Drilling Successfully Surpasses Depth Goal!

On January 23, 2016, a team of seven IDDO engineers and drillers concluded drilling operations at South Pole Station in support of the two-year South Pole Ice Core project (SPICECORE; PI Murat Aydin). Supported by the SPICECORE PIs and fantastic science techs, the team reached a final borehole depth of 1751 meters, surpassing the original target of 1500 meters! With NSF permission, the drilling continued within the originally established schedule and the extra meters collected have ensured that the much sought-after Laschamp Event has been captured in the core samples. Nearly 550 meters of core, enough to fill one refrigerated SAFECORE shipping container, are now on the cargo vessel bound for the U.S. In addition, the core storage trench at the South Pole is full of cores that will fill yet another SAFECORE container in February 2017. The cores will then be transported to the U.S. National Ice Core Laboratory for processing. IDDO disassembled and packed much of the drilling equipment and extended the borehole casing to allow for future borehole logging operations. A limited IDDO crew of 1-2 people will return to the site during the 2016-2017 season to assist with borehole logging, to disassemble and pack any remaining equipment, and to remove the drill tent with assistance from ASC and the science techs on site.

Driller Dom Winksi and Engineer Grant Boeckmann operate the Intermediate Depth Drill. Credit: IDDO.

The very last run of ice (1751 meters depth) inside the barrel of the Intermediate Depth Drill. Credit: Jay Johnson

Dr. Eric Steig, SPICECORE co-PI, cleans a run of core from 1600 meters depth. Credit: Jay Johnson

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Exposed Rock Beneath the WAIS (PI Stone)
In anticipation of the upcoming 2016-2017 fieldwork, IDDO shipped borehole casing and drill rod for the ASIG Drill to Antarctica via the resupply vessel. These items are planned for use during the 2016-2017 field season to support PI John Stone's fieldwork near Pirrit Hills. The borehole casing and drill rods were shipped early to reduce ASC's shipping costs and to allow the cargo to be flown to West Antarctica in 2016-2017 on flights of opportunity.

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Crary Ice Rise Shot Holes (PI Conway)
IDDO supplied PIs Twit Conway and Paul Winberry with a Small Hot Water Drill to create shot holes for their Crary Ice Rise seismic work. All shot holes were successfully drilled by the science team, and the equipment is currently onboard the cargo vessel headed to the U.S.

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Hand Augers
During the 2015-2016 Antarctic field season, IDDO supported ten investigators through the deployment of a variety of hand auger and Sidewinder kits. The hand auger kits are currently en-route back to the U.S. via the cargo vessel.

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

Allan Hills (PI Higgins)
IDDO Driller Mike Waszkiewicz operated an IDDO Eclipse Drill at Allan Hills in support of PI John Higgins' ancient ice fieldwork. All science samples were successfully collected. Each of the two planned holes were drilled to bedrock, with the first hole drilled to a depth of 100 meters and the second hole to a depth of 205 meters. The team was also able to re-enter a third hole that was originally drilled in 2011, coring an additional 20 meters of what is believed to be million year old ice.

Drilling tent and Eclipse Drill in operation at a snowy Allan Hills, Antarctica. Credit: Mike Waszkiewicz

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

South Pole Firn Air (PI Sowers)
Trevor Popp, an American driller and scientist working at the Centre for Ice and Climate in Copenhagen, Denmark, operated an IDDO Eclipse Drill at South Pole in support of PI Todd Sowers' firn air sampling campaign. In early November 2015, Popp set up the drill and began drilling without incident. Firn air sampling was progressing well until the firn air bladder provided by and operated by the science team became stuck in the borehole at 100 meters depth. Following unsuccessful efforts by the science team, IDDO, and ASC to retrieve the firn air sampling equipment, the hole was abandoned and efforts were redirected to drilling of the second hole, which was successfully drilled to 128 meters. Core quality was excellent throughout and the penetration rate was exceptional.

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 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

South Pole Ice Core (PI Aydin)
An IDDO team of seven engineers and drillers, led by Lead Driller Jay Johnson, successfully completed this two-year drilling endeavor at South Pole Station, achieving a final borehole depth of 1751 meters, 251 meters beyond the original goal of the project. All necessary retro cargo was readied for vessel and COMAIR transport back to the U.S., whereas the drill tent and other items were winterized for use again in 2016-2017.

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

Several other projects supported by IDPO-IDDO were also successfully brought to a close during the quarter. Drilling efforts for the cosmogenic C-14 project on Taylor Glacier were completed for the third and final year. Out at Allan Hills, an IDDO driller utilized an Eclipse Drill to successfully core three holes to bedrock, collecting precious ancient ice. A second Eclipse Drill project was completed at South Pole Station. Finally, after years of programmatic delays, IDDO was able to conclude its operations related to use of the DISC Drill at WAIS Divide. All equipment is now disassembled, packed, labeled and ready for return to the U.S. as flights allow. IDDO also successfully extended the borehole casing to allow for future logging operations, including planned logging during the 2016-2017 field season.

2015 Winter

Successful Support Across Antarctica

WAIS Divide Deep (PI Albert)
IDDO Driller Jim Koehler arrived at WAIS Divide on 1/14/16, following weather and aircraft delays, and worked expediently to prepare the remaining DISC Drill items for return shipment to the U.S. Koehler also worked with ASC personnel to extend the borehole casing to two feet above the Arch floor level.

The borehole casing extension at WAIS Divide, Antarctica. Credit: Jim Koehler

2015 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

During the 2015-2016 Antarctic field season, IDDO is providing support to the following projects:

(1) the South Pole Ice Core project (PI Murat Aydin; I-164-S) will continue its use of the Intermediate Depth Drill to collect a 1500 meter ice core. The ice core will provide an environmental record spanning approximately 40,000 years that will be used to investigate the magnitude and timing of changes in climate and climate forcing through time. The target of 40,000 years spans the transition from the peak of the last glacial period when ice sheets were at their maximum extent – referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum – to the present warm period (the Holocene) called an interglacial. One of the primary motivations for collecting an ice core from the South Pole is that it will provide one of the best trace gas records possible due to the very cold temperatures and low impurity levels at the South Pole. In addition to providing the Intermediate Depth Drill for the project, IDDO is also providing seven drillers to operate the drill throughout the season.

(2) the South Pole Firn Air project (PI Jeff Severinghaus; I-191-S) will use a Badger-Eclipse Drill to incrementally drill two 3-inch diameter holes to 130 meters depth for firn air sampling near the South Pole Ice Core project (PI Murat Aydin; I-164-S) drill site. The primary objective of the project is to construct the gas chronology for the South Pole ice core using inert gases (d15N, d40Ar) and methane in combination with a next-generation firn densification model. Reconstruction of the inert gases and methane in the South Pole ice core will improve the dating of the ice core record, to unprecedented precision, which will enhance the overall scientific return from the ice core.

(3) the Climatic and Glaciological Controls on the Formation of High-Altitude Ablation Moraines project (PI Kathy Licht; G-095-M) will use a hand auger to collect short ice cores from the Mt. Achernar, Transantarctic Mountains, region to recover ice for visual inspection and various types of isotopic analysis. The primary objective of the project is to gain an improved understanding of processes and rates of blue ice moraine formation, as well as identifying the topographic, glaciological, and climatic controls on their evolution. Field data related to ice motion and internal stratigraphy will be collected and used as part of a baseline dataset for a numerical model.

(4) the Crary Ice Rise Shot Holes project (PI Howard Conway; I-323-M) will use an IDDO provided small hot water drill to create shot holes for subsequent seismic work. The project aims to understand the dynamics of ice rises – grounded islands within ice shelves – as they result in a major resistive force on ice flowing from the grounded ice sheets into the ocean. An integrated collection of geophysical observations, including radar and active source seismic experiments, on both the Crary Ice Rise and across its grounding line will be used to address questions about how the ice rise affects ice discharge from the Ross Sea sector of West Antarctica.

(5) the RAID Auger and Packer Test (PI John Goodge; D-551-M) will use a variety of IDDO equipment to test whether a critical component of the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) system, a rubber packer designed to make a seal against the ice borehole wall, functions adequately in natural, glacial ice. A second goal is testing whether an auger can successfully make a hole all the way through the firn layer, which is the intended method of drilling through the firn for RAID operations.

(6) the Carbon-14 of Atmospheric Methane project (PI Vas Petrenko; I-159-M) project will continue its use of the specialized Blue Ice Drill to collect large-diameter ice cores from the blue ice zone on Taylor Glacier that span the last deglaciation and the Early Holocene. The scientists require large-diameter ice cores to extract enough methane to analyze for the rare carbon-14 isotope of methane. The methane analyses will help pinpoint the source(s) of the greenhouse gas during past abrupt climate changes, and will also help scientists understand how modern-day sources of methane may respond to a warming world.

(7) the Climate Controls on Aerosol Fluxes in Taylor Valley project (PI Sarah Aciego; I-184-M) will use the Blue Ice Drill to collect one ice core to a depth of 20 meters for subsequent analysis of dust concentration, dust size distribution, bulk major elements, bulk trace elements, and radiogenic isotope composition. These measurements will be used to deduce the changing climate of the Taylor Dome area from the Last Glacial Maximum through the Holocene.

(8) the Allan Hills Blue Ice Area project (PI John Higgins; I-165-M) will use a Badger-Eclipse Drill to drill one 150 meter depth ice core and one 200 meter depth ice core, as well as several shallow ice cores with a hand auger, to build on recent studies of ancient ice from the area. Previous studies from the area have obtained ice extending, discontinuously, from 0.1 million years ago (Ma) to one Ma. The climate records developed from the newly drilled ice cores will provide new insights into the chemical composition of the atmosphere and Antarctic climate during times of comparable or even greater warmth than the present day.

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2015-2016 field season locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text.

2015 Summer

Scientific Field Support

The Third Quarter (May 1, 2015 - July 31, 2015) saw the 2015 Arctic season come to a close and preparations ramp up for the approaching 2015-2016 Antarctic season. IDDO received the remainder of its equipment back from Greenland and worked to complete repairs and modifications. Equipment will begin shipping to Antarctica early in the Fourth Quarter.

2015 Spring

Greenland Firn Aquifer Project Battles Tremendous Snowfall

In late March, IDDO engineer Josh Goetz deployed with the Greenland Firn Aquifer project science team (Forster, PI) to Kulusuk in Southeast (SE) Greenland. After issues with poor weather and with helicopter availability, the team made it into the icecap in SE Greenland and drilled the first of four planned holes into the firn aquifer layer. A thermistor string was placed in the borehole, and while the plan was to then move to a second site, an unusually heavy pair of storms descended upon the camp, dropping approximately 2.5 meters of snow in just five days, precluding movement to the second site. Shown in the photo below, snow has completely covered the drill winch and nearly half of the 3.2 meter tall drill tower. It is surmised that the first storm encountered was the remnant of a hurricane that formed off the coast of Newfoundland.

The thermal drill covered in snow in SE Greenland.

A spring storm brought ~2.5 m of snow to the Greenland Firn Aquifer project camp.

2015 Spring

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current – Arctic 2015

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Disko Bay and Baffin Bay Firn and Ice Cores, Greenland (Das)
  • Greenland Aquifer Investigation (Forster)
  • Microbes and Ice Formation in Inland Waters, USA (McKay)

Upcoming – Antarctic 2015-2016

  • Aerosol Fluxes to Taylor Dome/Glacier (Aciego)
  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • South Pole 1500-meter Ice Core (Aydin)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/


2014 Winter

Rewarding Debut of Intermediate Depth Drill at South Pole Station

Despite weather, aircraft and program administrative delays, IDDO, together with the Antarctic Support Contractor (ASC) and project investigators, successfully completed the first season of the planned two-season South Pole Ice Core project near the South Pole Station. The project aims to recover a 1,500-meter ice core with IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD). A crew of seven IDDO engineers and drillers deployed in early November 2014 to Antarctica to begin set up of the drill site and installation of the IDD. Together with onsite PI, post-docs, and a graduate student core processing staff, the field team surpassed its seasonal drilling goal of 700 meters, collecting 736 meters in total. Nearly 600 meters of core, enough to fill one SAFECORE refrigerated shipping container, safely arrived to the National Ice Core Laboratory in Denver, CO, on March 4, where it will remain for processing this summer.

The SPICE Core team with the first core drilled on December 8, 2014. Credit: Mindy Nicewonger

Ice cores being transported to South Pole skiway. Credit: Leah Street

View of the drilling operation inside the drill tent. Credit: Murat Aydin

View of the core processing station inside the drill tent. Credit: Murat Aydin

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 Winter

WAIS Divide Schedule Challenges and Achievements

With the 2013-2014 field season at WAIS Divide canceled due to the government shutdown, IDDO re-planned its efforts for 2014-2015 for disassembly and packing of the DISC Drill at the site. Four IDDO personnel deployed from the U.S. in early December, and three ended up facing 20 days of aircraft and weather delays in McMurdo. With excellent teamwork between IDDO, ASC, and the borehole logging scientists (also at WAIS Divide this year), as well as NSF and ASC's willingness to extend the field season at WAIS Divide in light of the delays, the teams were able to successfully complete the majority of logging objectives for the season! In addition the team was able to dismantle much of the DISC Drill equipment in a very short amount of time. A portion of the drill will now return to Madison and the rest will remain at WAIS Divide over winter until future flight opportunities in 2015-2016. IDDO and ASC will continue to work closely together to plan for disassembly and removal of the remaining items from the drill arch, including IDDO's yellow gantry crane, the crane rails, and the drill control room, as well as to coordinate extending of the borehole casing up to the arch floor level next year.

The DISC Drill winch is lifted out of the winch pit. Credit: Jeffrey Donenfeld

Cargo staged in the drill arch for over-winter storage. Credit: Jeffrey Donenfeld

2014 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

During the 2014-15 Antarctic field season IDDO is providing support to three projects:

(1) the Carbon-14 of Atmospheric Methane project (Petrenko, PI) will use the specialized Blue Ice Drill to collect large-diameter ice cores from the blue ice zone on Taylor Glacier that span the last deglaciation and the Early Holocene. The scientists require large-diameter ice cores to extract enough methane to analyze for the rare carbon-14 isotope of methane. The methane analyses will help pinpoint the source(s) of the greenhouse gas during past abrupt climate changes, and will also help scientists understand how modern-day sources of methane may respond to a warming world.

(2) the South Pole Ice Core project (Aydin, PI) will use IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Drill to begin collection of a 1500 meter ice core. The project will collect the ice core over the course of two field seasons from a site approximately 3 kilometers from South Pole Station. The ice core will provide an environmental record spanning approximately 40,000 years that will be used to investigate the magnitude and timing of changes in climate and climate forcing through time. The target of 40,000 years spans the transition from the peak of the last glacial period when ice sheets were at their maximum extent — referred to as the Last Glacial Maximum — to the present warm period (the Holocene) called an interglacial. One of our primary motivations for collecting an ice core from the South Pole is that it will provide one of the best trace gas records possible due to the very cold temperatures and low impurity levels at the South Pole. In addition to providing the Intermediate Depth Drill for the project, IDDO is also providing seven drillers to operate the drill throughout the season.

(3) In support of the ongoing work at WAIS Divide, IDDO will assist with borehole logging operations, and will also disassemble the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) Drill system and prepare it for transport back to Madison, Wisconsin. The borehole logging operations consist of temperature (Clow, PI), seismic (Peters, PI), optical (Bay and Talghader, PIs) and acoustic televiewer logging (Pettit and Obbard, PIs). The temperature data will be used to refine estimates of the geothermal heat flow at the site, the melting rate at the base of the ice sheet, and to reconstruct past surface temperatures using borehole paleothermometry. The seismic data will be used to study the ice fabric, which will be linked to the physical properties of the WAIS Divide ice core. The optical data will be used to study the dust, crystal structure and ice fabric at the site. The acoustic televiewer will measure the shape and tilt of the borehole at high resolution to form a basis for measuring future changes in borehole shape and tilt. The changes in borehole shape and tilt over time will be used to study ice deformation.

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2014-2015 field season locations

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2014-2015 field season locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text above.

2014 Fall

Field Support to Science Projects

Current – Antarctic 2014-2015

  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • South Pole 1500-meter Ice Core (Aydin)
  • WAIS Divide Borehole Temperature Logging (Clow)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)
  • WAIS Divide Optical Logging (Bay and Talghader)
  • WAIS Divide Vertical Seismic Profiling (Riverman)

Upcoming – Arctic 2015

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Disko Bay and Baffin Bay Firn and Ice Cores, Greenland (Das)
  • Greenland Aquifer Investigation (Forster)
  • Microbes and Ice Formation in Inland Waters, USA (McKay)

Upcoming – Antarctic 2015-2016

  • Aerosol Fluxes to Taylor Dome/Glacier (Aciego)
  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • Ohio Range Ice-Rock Interface Samples (Mukhopadhyay)
  • South Pole 1500-meter Ice Core (Aydin)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/


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.

2013 Winter

Successful Project Support Amidst an Uncertain Antarctic Field Season

Despite uncertainties surrounding and delays stemming from the government shutdown in Fall 2013, Antarctic fieldwork was successfully completed for IDDO-supported projects.

Taylor Glacier (PIs Aciego and Petrenko)
On Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys Region, IDDO driller Mike Jayred and IDDO engineer Josh Goetz successfully collected over 1300 meters of large-diameter ice cores using the Blue Ice Drill. Despite an intensely windy field season, project objectives were achieved for both PI Vas Petrenko and PI Sarah Aciego.

Driller Mike Jayred operating the Blue Ice Drill on Taylor Glacier

Driller Mike Jayred operating the Blue Ice Drill on Taylor Glacier.

Siple Dome (PIs Bay and Talghader)
Due to the government shutdown, the U.S. Antarctic Program decided against opening WAIS Divide Camp this season. This has delayed borehole logging operations at WAIS Divide by one field season, but is not expected to negatively impact the disassembly and removal of the DISC Drill from the site, which is now scheduled to occur in 2014-2015. Due to the impact of the shutdown on the logging operations planned for WAIS Divide, PIs Joey Talghader and Ryan Bay altered their project plans to complete less logistically-intense logging projects at Siple Dome this season, both of which were originally planned for the 2014-2015 field season. Assisting in their operations were Josh Goetz and driller Elizabeth Morton. Despite severe flight delays and poor weather at Siple Dome, a very successful maiden voyage of IDDO's new Intermediate Depth Logging Winch helped to complete all project objectives.

The new intermediate logging winch for logging boreholes up to 1500 meters deeep

The new intermediate logging winch for logging boreholes up to 1500 meters deeep.

The intermediate depth logging winch in operation at Siple Dome

The intermediate depth logging winch in operation at Siple Dome.

Beardmore Glacier (PIs Conway and Winberry)
PIs Howard Conway and Paul Winberry utilized a Small Hot Water Drill once again to successfully drill over 100, 25-meter deep holes for seismic research on Beardmore Glacier, completing the second season of their two-year project.

Shallow Hand Auger Drilling (various PIs)
A number of shallow drilling projects were completed by PIs through the use of hand auger kits provided by IDDO, including two PICO hand auger kits, three SIPRE hand augers, two Sidewinder power drive kits and five new IDDO hand auger kits. The newly designed IDDO hand auger kit has shown excellent results thus far and IDDO continues to collect user feedback on the kit's performance.

The new IDDO hand auger kits packed and ready for shipment to Antarctica

The new IDDO hand auger kits packed and ready for shipment to Antarctica.

IDDO hand auger kit contents

IDDO hand auger kit contents.

2013 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2013-2014 field season locations

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2013-2014 field season locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text at left.

During the 2013-2014 Antarctic field season IDDO is providing support to five projects: (1) the Climate Controls on Aerosol Fluxes to Taylor Dome and Taylor Glacier project (Aciego, PI) will use the Blue Ice Drill to collect shallow ice cores to investigate the changing climate of the Taylor Dome area from the Last Glacial Maximum through the Holocene; (2) the Carbon-14 in Taylor Glacier Ice project (Petrenko, PI) will use the Blue Ice Drill to collect large-diameter ice cores to understand the past methane budget and cosmogenic carbon-14 production rates; (3) the Roosevelt Island Borehole Logging project (Hawley, PI) will use a logging tower to help log the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution borehole to investigate the internal properties of the ice; (4) the Beardmore Glacier Dynamics project (PIs Conway and Winberry) will use a small hot water drill to create the shot holes needed for their seismic characterization of the subglacial environment of Beardmore Glacier; and (5) the Optical Fabric and Fiber Logging of Glacial Ice project (PIs Bay and Talghader) will use a logging tower and the intermediate depth logging winch to profile the Siple Dome borehole with optical logging instruments that permit the study of dust, crystal structure and ice fabric.

2013 Fall

Field Support to Science Projects

Current - Antarctic 2013-2014

  • Aerosol Fluxes to Taylor Dome and Taylor Glacier (Aciego)
  • Beardmore Glacier Shot Holes, Antarctica (Conway)
  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • Roosevelt Island Borehole Logging (Hawley)
  • Siple Dome Optical Borehole Logging (Bay and Talghader)

Upcoming - Arctic 2014

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Disko Bay and Baffin Bay Firn and Ice Cores, Greenland (Das)
  • Intermediate Depth Drill Field Test, Greenland (IDPO-IDDO)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)

Upcoming - Antarctic 2014-2015

  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • South Pole 1500-meter Ice Core (Saltzman)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)
  • WAIS Divide Optical Logging (Bay)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/

2013 Summer

Scientific Drilling

Greenland Aerosol and Greenhouse Gases Core (PI McConnell)
Despite being forestalled by weather in previous attempts to drill ice cores on Tunu Glacier in Greenland several years ago, IDDO driller Bella Bergeron and the science field team were able to recover successfully over 350 meters of ice core during the month of May. Using an IDDO 4-Inch Drill, one hole was completed down to 213 meters while a second hole was completed down to 141 meters.

2013 Summer

Scientific Drilling

Denali (PI Osterberg)
IDDO provided driller Mike Waszkiewicz and a Badger-Eclipse Drill for PI Erich Osterberg's coring project in Denali National Park. Two holes were completed down to a depth of 208 meters each, resulting in excellent core quality. A new solar and wind system capable of powering the Badger-Eclipse Drill proved successful on its maiden field project. Such clean drilling efforts were praised by National Park Service staff and will continue to be utilized in the future.

Photo showing new solar and wind power system used for Badger-Eclipse drilling in Denali National Park. Photo: Mike Waszkiewicz

New solar and wind power system used for Badger-Eclipse drilling in Denali National Park. Photo: Mike Waszkiewicz

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

Scientific Drilling

Greenland Perennial Firn Aquifer (PI Forster)
As a follow up to a previous project conducted by PI Rick Forster in SE Greenland, IDDO provided driller Jay Kyne and the IDDO Thermal Drill to drill through the firn aquifer layer. Two holes were completed down to 60 meter and 25 meters, respectively, each allowing the deployment of a thermistor string through the aquifer.

2013 Summer

Scientific Drilling

McCall Glacier Cores (PI Nolan)
PI Matt Nolan completed his third season of a three-year ice coring project on McCall Glacier in Alaska. Throughout the project, Nolan utilized both a 3-Inch and 4-Inch PICO Hand Auger to retrieve shallow core samples.

Summit Shallow Core Array (PI Noone)
PI David Noone's field team deployed late in the third quarter to continue their collection of shallow ice cores near Summit Station. To support this work, IDDO again provided a PICO hand auger and a new IDDO hand auger as well as a Sidewinder power drive system. This year marks the third year of IDDO's support of the four-year project.

2013 Summer

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current - Arctic 2013

  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)

Upcoming - Antarctic 2013-14

  • Aerosol Fluxes to Taylor Dome and Taylor Glacier (Aciego)
  • Beardmore Glacier Shot Holes, Antarctica (Conway)
  • Carbon-14 from Taylor Glacier Blue Ice Cores (Petrenko)
  • Roosevelt Island Borehole Logging (Hawley)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)
  • WAIS Divide Optical Logging (Bay)

Upcoming - Arctic 2014

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Disko Bay and Baffin Bay Firn and Ice Cores, Greenland (Das)
  • Intermediate Depth Drill Field Test, Greenland (IDPO-IDDO)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/

2013 Spring

Scientific Drilling

A very successful Antarctic field season was brought to a close in February, with all field personnel returning to the U.S. PI Howard Conway's field team had excellent success with an IDDO portable hot water drill on Beardmore Glacier, drilling nearly 170 shot holes and completing four seismic transects. At WAIS Divide, new and revolutionary technology with the DISC Drill enabled collection of replicate cores on the uphill side of the borehole. The field team was able to surpass the initial goal of 252 meters of replicate core, collecting a total of 285 meters of excellent ice core from depths of particular interest. This field season was the culmination of six years of drilling operations at WAIS Divide Camp. A variety of hand auger projects were also successfully completed in Antarctica.

Photo showing drilling seismic shot holes with the portable hot water drill on Beardmore Glacier. Photo: Maurice Conway.

Drilling seismic shot holes with the portable hot water drill on Beardmore Glacier. Photo: Maurice Conway.

2013 Spring

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current - Arctic 2013

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Denali Ice Core Record, Alaska (Osterberg)
  • Greenland Aerosols and Methane Records, Greenland (McConnell/Brook)
  • Greenland Perennial Firn Aquifer, Greenland (Forster)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)
  • McCall Glacier Ice Cores, Alaska (Nolan)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/index.shtml

2012 Winter

Replicate Coring Ice Drilling Technology is Successful

For the first time, significant innovations in ice drilling engineering are providing scientists with replicate ice cores from targeted depths and directions in the ice sheet!

The newly developed, state-of-the-art Replicate Ice Coring System was deployed in December 2012 to re-enter the 6.5-inch diameter deep borehole at WAIS Divide, Antarctica, and successfully allowed the researchers to drill through the wall of the 3,405 meter deep parent borehole and collect a total of 285 meters of additional core from five of the most interesting time periods in the WAIS Divide climate record.

schematic of the replicate coring sonde

The Replicate Ice Coring System is capable of retrieving additional ice cores from specific depths on the uphill side of the main (parent) borehole. The Replicate Coring technique, developed and tested by the IDDO engineers as part of the Deep Ice Sheet Coring (DISC) Drill, is a key advance, because it allows scientists to take samples from specific levels of a parent borehole without impeding the hole itself, leaving the parent borehole open for future logging of information.

The Replicate Ice Coring System collects additional ice at depths of interest by deploying into an existing borehole and then deviating from it. The drill uses two steering actuator sections to tilt itself in the parent borehole by applying sidewards force against the borehole wall. In the first step of the process, the broaching cutter head is deployed to the target depth. Using the actuators, the drill is tipped to the high ("up hill") side of the borehole to engage the cutters. Ice is removed in repeated passes of approximately 15 meters in the up-stroke. In the second step of the process, a milling head is deployed and creates a landing for the coring head. In the third step of the process, a coring head removes a 20 mm kerf and allows a 108 mm diameter core to enter the core barrel. Two meters of core are removed per trip. The coring is repeated until all of the desired replicate ice from the target depth is obtained.

The Replicate Ice Coring System builds on the existing infrastructure of the DISC Drill and thus requires substantial logistics and infrastructure support. However, the design and engineering behind the system is such that it can be scaled down for use with smaller, more agile drilling systems as well. The downhole portion of the DISC Drill, the sonde, was significantly modified to meet the requirements of steering out of the parent hole. The major components of the replicate sonde are described below.

Cable Interface Section
The existing cable interface section of the DISC Drill provides the connection to 4km of fiber optic cable.

Upper Actuator Section
The upper actuator section steers the drill, and with the anti-torque levels extended keeps the drill from spinning during cutting operations.

Instrument Section
The instrument section provides power and communications to operate the drill.

Lower Actuator Section
The lower actuator is identical to the upper actuator, but is configured with discs on the levers to provide smooth navigation.

Pump/Motor Section
The pump/motor section has a powerful pump for chip transport and contains the cutter motor.

Lower Sonde
The lower sonde includes chip barrels that collect the chips that are cut during coring, a core barrel to collect the core, and the coring head. The lower sonde can be assembled in multiple configurations to meet the needs of the different stages of the replicate coring process.

To see a demonstration of how the Replicate Ice Coring System works, visit:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYYwOkwl3vQ

Image of actuator section of the replicate sonde

The actuator section of the replicate sonde is shown. Photo: Chris Gibson, UW-Madison, IDDO

Image of the broaching head of the replicate sonde

The broaching head of the replicate sonde is shown. Photo: Chris Gibson, UW-Madison, IDDO

Image of the replicate sonde with the milling head

The replicate sonde with the milling head is shown. Photo: Chris Gibson, UW-Madison, IDDO

The replicate coring head with the first replicate ice core ever taken from the uphill side of an ice core borehole

The coring head with the first replicate ice core ever taken from the "uphill" side of an ice core borehole is shown. Photo: Jay Johnson, UW-Madison, IDDO

2012 Winter

NSF Press Release on the Completion of Deep Drilling at WAIS Divide, Antarctica

The deep drilling at WAIS Divide, Antarctica has come to a close. It took eight field seasons to prepare the remote field camp, to drill the 3,405 meter deep ice core (the longest ice core in U.S. history), and to collect the 285 meters of valuable replicate core (see story above), but we did it. On February 5, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a press release celebrating this historic accomplishment. In case you didn't see the press release, it is available at:
http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=126761&org=NSF&from=news

photo of press release on NSF website

In addition to the NSF press release, The Antarctic Sun also released a great story about the success of replicate coring at WAIS Divide this season. The story is available at:
http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/science/contenthandler.cfm?id=2788

2012 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current

  • Beardmore Glacier Shot Holes, Antarctica (Conway; fieldwork completed)
  • Roosevelt Island Ice Core Borehole Logging, Antarctica (Hawley; fieldwork cancelled due to weather)
  • Taylor Glacier Shallow Cores, Antarctica (Schaefer; fieldwork completed)
  • WAIS Divide Replicate Coring, Antarctica (Severinghaus; fieldwork completed)

Upcoming - Arctic 2013

  • Cosmogenic Carbon-14 in Polar Firn, Greenland (Petrenko)
  • Denali Ice Core Record, Alaska (Osterberg)
  • Greenland Aerosols and Methane Records, Greenland (McConnell and Brook)
  • Greenland Perennial Firn Aquifer, Greenland (Forster)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)
  • McCall Glacier Ice Cores, Alaska (Nolan)

Upcoming - Antarctic 2013-14

  • Beardmore Glacier Shot Holes, Antarctica (Conway)
  • WAIS Divide Optical Logging (Bay)
  • WAIS Divide Fabric and Texture Logging (Pettit and Obbard)

For the latest information on our current and upcoming field projects, visit:
http://icedrill.org/expeditions/index.shtml

2012 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

During the 2012-2013 Antarctic field season IDDO will provide support for four projects: (1) the Beardmore Glacier Dynamics project (PIs Conway and Winberry) will use a portable hot water drill to create the shot holes needed for their seismic characterization of the subglacial environment of Beardmore Glacier; (2) the WAIS Divide Replicate Coring project (Severinghaus, PI) will use the DISC Drill and its Replicate Coring System to obtain additional ice samples from intervals of high scientific interest within the existing WAIS Divide deep borehole; (3) the Roosevelt Island Climate Evolution (RICE) project (Hawley, PI) will use the IDDO logging tower to help log the RICE borehole to investigate the internal properties of the ice; and (4) the Taylor Glacier Horizontal Ice Core project (Schaefer, PI; Antarctica New Zealand) will use a hand auger and sidewinder to obtain several shallow ice cores from Taylor Glacier. In addition, IDDO prepared and deployed five PICO and six SIPRE hand auger kits as well as one Sidewinder kit for use by science teams this field season.

map of antarctica

Map of Antarctica showing IDDO 2012-2013 field season locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text.

2012 Fall

South Pole 1500 m Ice Core

The University of California-Irvine (Saltzman, PI), University of Washington (Steig, PI) and University of New Hampshire (Twickler, PI) have recently been funded to obtain a 1500 meter ice core at the South Pole. Drilling is planned for 2014-2015 (~700 m, through the Holocene) and 2015-2016 (to 1500 m / 40,000 years). The drilling will be conducted with the new Intermediate Depth Drill currently under development by IDDO. The ice core obtained will be 9.8 cm in diameter, about 1/2 the volume of the WAIS Divide core, so availability of ice to the community will be less. Proposals to work on the core will need a letter of support from the South Pole Ice Core Executive Committee, currently composed of Eric Saltzman, Eric Steig, Murat Aydin, and Tom Neumann. If you intend to submit a proposal to work on the South Pole ice core, please let the Executive Committee know by sending an email to contact@spicecore.org. In particular, it is important to let them know if you have any special sampling needs, such as sampling in the field. Planning is already underway for the ice core trench; the intention is to process only minimally in the field.

In addition, the first planning workshop for the project is planned for Tuesday, March 19, Friday, February 22, 2013 at the Millennium Harvest House in Boulder, CO. The purpose of the workshop is to give scientists interested in participating in the South Pole Ice Core project an opportunity to discuss site selection, science goals, and analytical measurements, as well as an opportunity to coordinate the submission of science proposals (to analyze the ice) in June April, 2013. The intention is to have web-conferencing capability for the workshop so that people can participate in the workshop remotely, if desired. To help plan for the workshop, please let the PIs know (by sending an email to contact@spicecore.org) if you are interested in participating in the workshop, and if so, if you believe you will attend the workshop in person or via web-conferencing.

For the lastest information about the project, and to subscribe to the project's electronic mailing list, visit: http://spicecore.org

2012 Summer

GISP2 Borehole Casing

IDDO worked with CH2MHill Polar Servies to extend the GISP2 borehole casing at Summit Station, Greenland. IDDO prepared and shipped a 20-foot long section of 10-inch pipe to be installed by the science techs at Summit. This casing extension will ensure that the borehole entry does not become buried, providing surface access to the borehole for years to come.

2012 Spring

2011-2012 Antarctic Field Season Successfully Completed

The 2011-2012 Antarctic field season has come to a close with numerous IDPO/IDDO-led projects displaying exciting and successful results. P.I. Paul Winberry and his field team were able to obtain over 9 km of high-quality seismic data through their operation of an IDDO Portable Hot Water Drill. Using the same drill, Huw Horgan and his team were able to drill over 280 shot holes in support of P.I. Sridhar Anandakrishnan's WISSARD Surface Geophysics project.

In addition to hot water drilling, science teams throughout Antarctica also utilized six PICO hand augers, three SIPRE augers and two Sidewinder systems.

Drilling with the portable hot water drill

Paul Winberry and his field team using the portable hot water drill on Whillans Ice Stream. Photo courtesy of Paul Winberry.

2012 Spring

Badger-Eclipse Drill Utilized for Driller Training

IDDO was given permission by NSF to deploy a Badger-Eclipse Drill system to WAIS Divide this season in order to aid in driller training. This training proved extremely valuable, as IDDO contract drillers Elizabeth Morton and Michael Jayred were able to gain critical hands-on experience in the assembly and operation of the Badger-Eclipse system. Together with the help of visiting Danish Drill Engineer Steffen Bo Hansen, they were able to complete a 120-meter borehole just outside of WAIS Divide Camp. This very beneficial training exercise also served as a valuable opportunity to update operations procedures for the Badger-Eclipse system.

Drilling with the Badger-Eclipse drill

Michael Jayred and Elizabeth Morton work with the Badger-Eclipse drill at WAIS Divide. Photo courtesy of Logan Mitchell.

2012 Spring

New Hand Auger Prototype Tested

IDDO Engineer Josh Goetz was able to test his newly designed prototype for the next generation of hand auger equipment. While at WAIS Divide for DISC Drill and Replicate Testing operations this season, Josh was able to use the hand auger to drill four holes in firn of varying density and was able to take notes regarding further modification and fine tuning of the prototype. In addition, IDDO contract driller Tanner Kuhl was also able to briefly test a second copy of the prototype on Taylor Glacier in the Dry Valleys region. Josh, using his and Tanner's experience this past season, is modifying the prototypes to improve performance.

Drilling with theIDDO hand auger

Josh Goetz field tests a new hand auger design at WAIS Divide. Photo courtesy of Steffen Bo Hansen.

2012 Spring

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current

  • McCall Glacier Ice Cores, Alaska (Nolan)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)

Upcoming

  • Exploring Ice Patches in Glacier National Park (Kelly)
  • WAIS Divide Replicate Ice Core, Antarctica (Severinghaus)
  • Taylor Glacier Shallow Cores (Schaefer)

For information about each of these projects, visit: http://icedrill.org/expeditions/index.shtml

2011 Winter

Drilling Completed of the WAIS Divide Main Ice Core

On December 31, 2011, the drilling of the Antarctic WAIS Divide ice core was successfully completed. The DISC Drill produced excellent quality core over the entire 3,405 m depth, including through the technically challenging warm ice. This significant achievement was the culmination of over a decade of work including the design and construction of the DISC Drill by IDDO and its predecessor ICDS.

The ice core retrieved from the site is anticipated to yield the first high-resolution southern hemisphere record of greenhouse gases and climate comparable to the Greenland records, and will contribute significantly to improved understanding of climate variability over the last 62,000 years. Unlike the Greenland cores, however, the WAIS Divide ice core will also provide a record of carbon dioxide; and that record will have a higher time-resolution during the transition from the last glacial period to the current warm interval than any other existing ice core record.

To view an excellent, short NSF-produced video about the WAIS Divide ice core project, visit: http://waisdivide.unh.edu/about/index.shtml

Photo of IDDO drilling team

The IDDO drilling team celebrate the completion of the WAIS Divide deep ice core. Pictured are (L to R) Chuck Zander, Josh Goetz, Michael Jayred, Kristina Dahnert, Elizabeth Morton, and Paul Sendelbach. Photo courtesy of Kristina Dahnert.

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 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Current

  • WAIS Divide Ice Core, Antarctica (Taylor and Severinghaus)
  • Taylor Glacier Ice Cores, Antarctica (Severinghaus)
  • Whillans Ice Stream Seismic, Antarctica (Winberry)
  • Badger-Eclipse/Hand Auger Field Testing, Antarctica (Bentley)

Upcoming

  • McCall Glacier Ice Cores, Alaska (Nolan)
  • Isotope Hydrology at Summit, Greenland (Noone)

For information about each of these projects, visit: http://icedrill.org/expeditions/index.shtml

2011 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

During the 2011-2012 Antarctic field season IDDO will provide drilling support for three projects: (1) the WAIS Divide Ice Core project (PIs Taylor and Severinghaus) will possibly continue deep coring with the DISC Drill and will also test the new Replicate Coring System; (2) the Taylor Glacier Cores project (Severinghaus, PI) will continue to use the Blue Ice Drill to collect large volume samples of ice from the Taylor Glacier ablation zone for studies of the past atmosphere; and (3) the Whillans Ice Stream project (Winberry, PI) will use a portable hot water drill to create the shot holes for seismic work to investigate the physical conditions at the base of the ice stream.

In addition, several new components, including a split ring collet and new cutters, for the Badger-Eclipse drill have been developed and will be field-tested at WAIS Divide this season. IDDO also plans to field-test two newly-designed 3-inch hand augers during the 2011-2012 Antarctic field season: one at WAIS Divide and on sea ice at McMurdo Station, and the other at Taylor Glacier to see how it performs in ice.

Map of Antarctica showing 2011-2012 field season drilling locations

Map of Antarctica showing 2011-2012 field season drilling locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text.

2011 Summer

Overview of Activities

The third quarter FY2011 yielded success in science planning, agile drilling for multidisciplinary endeavors and drill development. IDDO successfully completed three field projects in Greenland: Rick Forster's Arctic Circle Traverse project, David Noone and David Schneider's isotope hydrology project, and Kent Anderson's Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) project. See "Highlights" below for more information about these three completed projects. In addition, two field projects are still underway: one in North Greenland with P.I. Bob Hawley and one on McCall Glacier, Alaska with P.I. Matt Nolan. IDPO sponsored the Ice Drilling Science Community Planning Workshop in Herndon, VA, which enabled new scientific collaborations and plans for future interdisciplinary drilling projects, including ideas for clean agile drilling systems, development of rapid access drilling, and modular hot water drilling. The Long Range Science Plan and Long Range Drilling Technology Plan were updated. Several high-visibility educational outreach events to feature scientists from the ice coring and drilling community were planned, and work began on a revised Education and Outreach vision for the revised IDPO/IDDO Strategic Plan. Critical issues facing IDDO include repair and updating of the DISC Drill and the development and preparation of the DISC Drill Replicate Coring System for testing at WAIS Divide during the 2011-2012 field season. Problems with the DISC motor control boards and other repairs are expected to cost more than planned, and the diversion of resources from the Replicate System has impacted the schedule and, to a lesser extent, the cost of the Replicate Coring System. IDDO believes, however, that the projects will be completed as scheduled and within the total budget for the two projects combined.

2011 Summer

Multidisciplinary Science on the Greenland Ice Sheet is Enabled by Agile Ice Core Drills

Despite battling bitter winds and cold April temperatures in Greenland, P.I. Rick Forster's Arctic Circle Traverse (ACT) field team successfully drilled and processed over 200 meters of ice core at four traverse sites in Greenland under the leadership of IDDO Lead Driller, Terry Gacke. The cores may yield insights on snow accumulation. Meanwhile, in the center of the ice sheet, the field team for P.I.s David Noone and David Schneider drilled a shallow core array near Summit Station, Greenland using an IDDO PICO 4-inch hand auger system and Sidewinder kit. At Raven Camp on the ice sheet, activity focused on a detection system for ice sheet movement; a 300-meter borehole was drilled and a seismometer successfully deployed in May for P.I. Kent Anderson's Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN) project. Under the leadership of IDDO Lead Driller Bella Bergeron, IDDO driller Terry Gacke, IDDO engineer Tanner Kuhl and the GLISN science team utilized the 4-Inch drill system winch to control descent of the seismometer. In addition, three solar arrays were constructed, surface seismometers buried, wind turbines and GPS antennas erected, and interconnecting cables buried.

Photo of GLISN field team

GLISN field team. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

Photo of Lead Driller Beth Bergeron operating the winch

Lead Driller Beth Bergeron operates the winch. Photo: Tanner Kuhl

2011 Spring

Deepest U.S. Ice Core Drilled in West Antarctica

On January 28, 2011, the DISC Drill reached its much-anticipated bottom depth of 3,331 meters at WAIS Divide, Antarctica. Despite a field season fraught with challenges, the drill crew surpassed previous depth records set at Dome Fuji, Dome C and GISP-2. On January 17, 2011, the WAIS Divide core became the deepest U.S. ice core ever drilled, surpassing the GISP-2 depth of 3,056 meters! For more information about the field season, visit: http://waisdivide.unh.edu/news/index.shtml

To view a short video about the DISC Drill, visit: http://icedrill.org/equipment/videos.shtml#disc

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

2011 Spring

Drilling Support to Arctic Field Projects

During the 2011 Arctic field season IDDO is providing drilling support to five projects: (1) the Greenland Snow Accumulation project (Forster, PI) will continue to use the 4-Inch Drill to collect shallow ice cores to investigate snow accumulation in the south-eastern sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet; (2) the Greenland Near Surface Cores project (Hawley, PI) will continue to use a hand auger to investigate the physical properties and the state of snow and firn along a traverse from Thule to Summit Greenland; (3) the McCall Glacier Cores project (Nolan, PI) will use a hand auger and sidewinder to collect firn cores from McCall Glacier in the eastern Brooks Range of Alaska to better understand the processes of internal accumulation of ice within firn; (4) the Summit Shallow Core Array project (Noone, PI) will use a hand auger and sidewinder to collect high-resolution firn cores to help investigate the stable isotopic hydrology at Summit Greenland; and (5) the Greenland Seismic Array project (Anderson, PI) will use the 4-Inch Drill to drill a borehole to house a seismometer for the GreenLand Ice Sheet monitoring Network (GLISN).

2010 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Lake Vida Access
Driller Jay Kyne used the Prairie Dog drill to complete holes to 27 and 20.5 meters depth in ice thicker and dirtier than expected by PI Peter Doran. The drill was stuck in the second hole and, after discussions between RPSC and NSF, abandoned to avoid any potential environmental damage in recovery.

Photo of Lake Vida ice core with a thick layer of sediment in the middle that appears to be laminated

Lake Vida ice core with a thick layer of sediment in the middle that appears to be laminated. This ice core was retrieved at a depth of ~21 meters. Photo: http://www.dri.edu/2010-lake-vida-expedition

Photo of long section of core retrieved in the core room at Lake Vida

Long section of core retrieved in the core room at Lake Vida. Chris Fritsen and Jay Kyne (from the left). Photo: http://www.dri.edu/2010-lake-vida-expedition

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

2010 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

Allan Hills Coring
Coring was successfully completed by driller Mike Waszkiewicz, with holes of 229 and 129 meters providing all the ice that PI Andrei Kurbatov needed.

WAIS Shallow Cores
Coring was successfully completed by driller Lou Albershardt, with three ice cores drilled (59, 112, and 62 meters) at three sites on the Pine Island and Thwaites Glaciers.

2010 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

WAIS Divide Ice Core - Deep
Despite problems with noisy control boards and fluid leakage into the sonde, good progress was made. The DISC Drill continued to produce ice cores of excellent core quality and on January 28, 2010 the season's depth goal of 3,330 meters was successfully reached.

2010 Winter

Drilling Support to Science Projects

A variety of Antarctic field projects were launched this austral field season, including the final season of deep drilling the main core at the WAIS Divide site, and shallow drilling endeavors at Allan Hills, WAIS, Taylor Glacier, and access through the ice at Lake Vida.

2010 Fall

Field Support to Antarctic Projects

During the 2010-2011 Antarctic field season IDDO will provide drilling support for five projects: (1) the WAIS Divide Ice Core project (Taylor, PI) will continue deep ice coring with the DISC drill; (2) the Allan Hills Cores project (Kurbatov, PI) will use the Badger-Eclipse drill to drill several shallow and 100-meter-long ice cores to compare the Eemian climate record of Allan Hills with that of Mt. Moulton, delineate the area's chronostratigraphy, refine meteorite dating for existing collected meteorites, and establish a framework for an "International Climate Park" in the Allan Hills; (3) the WAIS Shallow Cores project (Joughin, PI) will use the Badger-Eclipse drill to collect shallow ice cores for surface-based ice-core measurements of accumulation and ground-truthing against airborne accumulation radar profiles; (4) the Taylor Glacier Cores project (Severinghaus, PI) will use the Blue Ice Drill to obtain large volume samples of ice from the Taylor Glacier ablation zone for studies of the past atmosphere; and (5) the Lake Vida Access project (Doran, PI) will use a 4-inch hand auger, a Sidewinder hand auger power system, and the Prairie Dog drill to drill an access hole in the ice cover for subsequent geochemical and biological sampling. For more information about each project, visit www.icedrill.org/about/projects.shtml.

map of Antarctica showing fieldwork locations

Map of Antarctica showing 2010-2011 field season drilling locations. The numbers shown on the map correspond to the project numbers in the text.

2010 Summer

Drilling Shallow Cores

IDDO completed five field projects in Greenland: the Greenland Snow Accumulation Project (Rick Forster, PI), the Humboldt and Tunu Core Update Project (Joe McConnell, PI), the Greenland Near-Surface Core Project (Bob Hawley, PI), the CRREL Summit Firn Air Cooling Study (Maggie Knuth, PI), and the NOAA Summit Firn Air Sampling Borehole Project (Butler, PI) - the core from which was saved for Joe McConnell. All projects were deemed successful, although only one abbreviated core was retrieved on the Humboldt and Tunu Core Update Project because of bad weather, aircraft delays, and the erupting Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. Equipment for the Greenland Snow Accumulation Project was inadequately prepared before leaving Madison; IDDO is addressing the issue by organizational changes designed to provide additional quality control on all equipment used in the field.

photo 4-Inch Drill

Terry Gacke drilling an ice core in Greenland with the 4-Inch Drill. Photo: Bob Hawley

2010 Spring

Update of Field Drilling Support (January - March, 2010)

Agile drill field projects in Antarctica during January-March included coring on the Amundsen Coast (hand auger plus sidewinder) and Taylor Glacier (hand auger plus sidewinder), and the conclusion of a successful season for the Amundsen Basin seismic project (RAM Drill). While all these field projects were a success, the PIs gave helpful feedback to IDPO and IDDO will continue to develop its drill management procedures to better maintain, repair, and provide science support for all types of drills.

The WAIS Divide Ice Core Project had a successful season with 1,050 meters of high-quality core retrieved and drilling progressing to a total depth of 2,564 meters, only 36 m short of the season's goal in spite of more than a week of delay getting into the site. The problem with hole inclination was corrected in the field, and the drillers were able to reduce inclination from just over 5 degrees to approximately 4 degrees. The new thin kerf core barrel increased core lengths per run from ~2.7 m to 3.3 m.

More information about these projects can be viewed at: http://icedrill.org/about/previous_projects.shtml

photo RAM drill

Conducting seismic research in West Antarctica using the RAM Drill. Photo: Tony Wendricks

photo DISC drill

The DISC Drill at WAIS Divide with a run of ice core. Photo: Peter Neff

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Requesting Ice Drilling Support

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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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