Prairie Dog Drill

Drilling Support to Science Projects (2010 Winter)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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: Alison Murray/DRI.

Members of the 2010 Lake Vida expedition team Peter Doran, Chris Fritsen and Jay Kyne drill an ice core from the lake. Credit: Emanuele Kuhn, DRI

Requesting Field Support

If you are preparing a NSF proposal that includes any kind of support from IDP, you must include a Letter of Support from IDP in the proposal. Researchers are asked to provide IDP with a detailed support request three weeks prior to the date the Letter of Support is required. Early submissions are strongly encouraged.

Program Information

The U.S. Ice Drilling Program (IDP) is a NSF-funded facility. IDP 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.