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Perspectives for development of ice-core drilling technology: a discussion
Authors: Talalay PG
Year: 2014
Keywords: ice coring, ice engineering, ice rheology
Periodical/Journal: Annals of Glaciology
Volume: 55
Number: 68
Page Range: 339-350

More than 170 years ago, Louis Agassiz, one of the creators of glacial theory, made his first attempt to drill into the bed of Unteraargletscher, Swiss Alps. Since that time, various systems for thermal and mechanical drilling have been designed especially for boring into ice, and some conventional drill rigs been adopted for ice coring. Although contemporary ice-drilling knowledge and techniques are now familiar, there remain many problems to be solved by advanced modern technology. Specific challenges related to improving old drilling methods and developing new emerging technologies include: (1) identification of depth limitation of 'dry' drilling; (2) improvement of casing; (3) searching for the new environmentally friendly low-temperature drilling fluids; (4) reliable elimination of sticking drills; (5) improvement of core quality in the brittle zone; (6) additional core sampling from borehole walls after the core has been drilled; (7) obtaining oriented core; (8) designing automation drilling systems; (9) developing rapid-access drills. Possible ways of solving these problems are presented below.

DOI: 10.3189/2014AoG68A007
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