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Ice Core Drilling on Mt. Wrangell, Alaska 1982
Authors: Benson CS
Year: 1984
Periodical/Journal: Proceedings of the Second International Workshop/Symposium on Ice Drilling Technology (eds G. Holdsworth, K.C. Kuivinen and J.H. Rand), CRREL Special Report 84-34
Page Range: 61-68

Glacier ice in the summit caldera of Mt. Wrangell, Alaska (62°N 144°W 4000 m above sea level) has a mean annual temperature of about -20°C, an annual accumulation of 1 to 1.3 m water equivalent and thickness on the order of 500 m. In 1984 we plan to core through most of this ice using the Canadian modification of the Rufli-Rand drill. This project deals with a pilot project, done in 1982, using the PICO light weight drill which performed very well. We obtained 43.5 m of core which is being analyzed for microparticle content, total beta activity and stable isotope O18/O16ratios. The light weight was a major asset in transporting the drill by helicopter to the summit and in moving it by sledge on the surface. The drill was well designed and the versatile way that drill rods can be used to make a tripod proved useful. It was easy for one man to raise and lower the drill to depths of 30 m. At a depth of about 40 m the time required for an individual round-trip run to retrieve core was 45 minutes. Core lengths greater than 1 m were common when using the 2 m core barrel and core quality was excellent. Safe storage and shipment of the core proved to be more of a problem than the coring itself.

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