IDP maintains and operates existing drills and borehole logging winches, and develops new systems with two principal foci:

  1. to provide high quality ice cores, and
  2. to produce boreholes that provide access to the interior and beds of ice sheets and glaciers for such purposes as embedding instruments, collecting gas samples, setting seismic charges, studying subglacial processes, studying subglacial geology, collecting subglacial bedrock core, and borehole logging.

Blue Ice Drill

The Blue Ice Drill (BID) is an agile drill capable of retrieving cores of approximately 9 ½ inches (241 mm) in diameter. The BID system had a depth capability of 30-meters in solid ice in its original design and has been used successfully in both Greenland and Antarctica for many years. In PY 2014, the system was modified to allow for deeper coring to 200-meters depth at the request of the scientific community. A new cable winch and tower were implemented in the design as well as several new down-hole components. The control box was modified as well.

This new BID-Deep system, to which it is referred, is theoretically capable of reaching depths to 200 meters. The BID-Deep system was first tested in Greenland during the 2014 Arctic field season, reaching a depth of 187 meters. The BID-Deep capabilities were further tested in Taylor Valley in Antarctica during the 2014-2015 field season down to a depth of 70 meters.

The Blue Ice Drill and the drill camp at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, during the 2010-2011 field season. Credit: Tanner Kuhl

The Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, during the 2010-2011 field season. Credit: Jeff Severinghaus

The Blue Ice Drill at Taylor Glacier, Antarctica, during the 2014-2015 field season.

The Blue Ice Drill at Summit, Greenland, during the 2010 field season. Credit: Ben Hmiel

Equipment Details

Name Blue Ice Drill (BID)
Type Ice coring
Number in Inventory 1
Max. Practical Depth 25 meters
Hole Diameter 288 mm (11.3 inches)
Core Diameter 241 mm (9.5 inches)
Core Length 1.0 m
IDP Driller Required? Yes, 1-2 drillers (2 people required for drill operation)
Drill Fluid Required? No
Power requirements/source 120v, 3.5kW generator
Estimated Drilling Time 10 m - 2 hours
20 m - 4 hours
25 m - 5 hours
Time to move (breakdown and setup) 4 hours
Helicopter Transportable? Yes
Light Aircraft Transportable? Yes
Trench Required? No
Shipping Weight 4,300 lbs
Shipping Cube 270

Associated Documents