Stampfli 2-Inch Drill

Field Support to 2019 Arctic Projects

The second quarter saw the start of the 2019 Arctic field season. IDP is providing support to the following projects:

(1) The Quantifying Heat/Mass Structure and Fluxes through the Full Thickness of Greenland's Percolation Zone project (PI Harper; NSF award #1717241) will collect several shallow firn cores in western Greenland using a hand auger and Sidewinder kit. The cores will be used to quantify firn density, and the resultant boreholes will provide access for temperature logging of the firn column. The goal of the multiyear project is to use a combination of shallow and deep cores/boreholes to quantify the structure, thermal state, and heat fluxes through the full thickness of the firn column across a transect spanning western Greenland's percolation zone. The researchers are using their own hot water drill to drill the deep boreholes.

(2) The Refreezing in the Firn of the Greenland Ice Sheet 2019 project (PI Rennermalm; NSF award #1604058) will use a hand auger and Sidewinder kit to collect several shallow firn cores from the southwestern sector of the Greenland Ice Sheet to investigate the stratigraphy, density, temperature, and liquid water content of the firn cover. The project's goal is to better understand how the surface meltwater generated in the summer makes its way from its location on the ice sheet to the ocean. Two competing but not mutually exclusive theories are 1) the meltwater percolates into the ice sheet pores and is stored for a relatively long time. 2) The initial infiltrating meltwater refreezes at shallow depth in the firn, forming a hard pan that prohibits further infiltration. The project will test these two hypotheses through a combination of fieldwork, remote sensing from satellites, and modeling.

(3) The Partnerships for Polar Science Education and Outreach in Greenland (JSEP) project (PI Virginia; NSF award #1748137) is a multicultural polar science outreach program for high school students from Greenland, Denmark, and the USA. The program brings US students together with Danish and Greenlandic students in Greenland, where the group will spend several weeks studying the causes and consequences of Arctic environmental change. As part of the program, a hand auger will be used to expose the students to firn science (observing stratigraphic, density, and temperature changes with depth) at EastGRIP.

(4) The EAGER: Exploration of the Denali Basal Ice Core Archive project (PI Kreutz; NSF award #1806422) will return to their 2013 ice core drill site and use the Stampfli Drill to collect a 30- to 50-meter long core. The researcher's objective is to understand the recent and past changes in summer temperature, snow accumulation, atmospheric circulation, and pollution in the context of the last 2000 years of natural variability in the North Pacific. In 2013 the researchers collected twin 208-meter long ice cores to bedrock from the summit plateau of Mt. Hunter in Denali National Park. This season's 30- to 50-meter long core will be used to update the climate record from 2013 to 2019 and help aid in the interpretation of the deeper ice.

(5) The Thermal Drill Testing with the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) project is an internal IDP project. The Electrothermal drill, aka the "Thermal drill", is a mechanical ice coring drill based on the agile 4-Inch drill but with the addition of an electrically heated ring that enables coring in temperate ice that is close to the pressure melting point. Following planned system upgrades in PY 2018, including a new 300-meter long cable, new heat rings and an ethanol delivery mechanism, IDP is conducting a three-week test of the Electrothermal Drill system in Alaska in conjunction with other JIRP activities and established logistics. Following the test, IDP will inspect and repair the Electrothermal Drill equipment and make any necessary modifications.

Map of Greenland showing 2019 Arctic field season locations. The numbers shown on the maps correspond to the project numbers in the text.

Map of Alaska showing 2019 Arctic field season locations. The numbers shown on the maps correspond to the project numbers in the text.

Beneficial Testing Opportunities Conducted Near Madison, WI

In late February and early March, IDP-WI supported a test of PI Dale Winebrenner's Ice Diver probe in the prototype test well located on the UW Physical Sciences Lab campus outside of Madison. Record-breaking low temperatures in Wisconsin during the week-long test provided a true Antarctic field experience. The team reached 10-meters depth in the 13-meter deep hole and brainstormed beneficial modifications to implement before further testing in Greenland. Following that effort, IDP took an opportunity to test the Stampfli Drill, a newer drill for IDP, but most often used in firn, to determine its suitability for drilling pilot holes for the Winkie Drill on Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica. In the absence of an outer barrel, chip transport was found to be inefficient when drilling in ice. IDP engineers have identified possible modifications to improve the system, such as the addition of a ribbed outer barrel, replacement of the aluminum cutter heads with stainless steel heads and the addition of variable pitch shoes to control penetration based on borehole conditions. For the upcoming Antarctic field season, and after discussion with ASC and PI Brent Goehring, IDP will deploy an Eclipse Drill for drilling of the Winkie Drill pilot holes but may look to upgrade the lighter weight Stampfli Drill to accomplish this task in the future as time and funds allow. IDP was also able to test the performance of a new Thermal Drill cable, new heat rings, and a tool designed by IDP engineers to more efficiently remove cores from the core barrel.

Testing of PI Dale Winebrenner's Ice Diver probe at PSL. Credit: Jim Koehler

Testing of the Electrothermal Drill at PSL. Credit: Jim Koehler

Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill and Stampfli Drill Now Ready for PI Use

Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill (SLLID)
The new Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill (SLLID), designed and built by IDDO, is a 28kW hot water drill useful for creating holes with very little initial water, for freeing instrument cables from the ice, and for accessing equipment deployed beneath the ice. The drill is effective at drilling through sediment laden ice and allows safe servicing of science instruments deployed in the lakes and ocean.

For more information about the SLLID, contact IDPO-IDDO at Icedrill at Dartmouth dot edu.

Testing of the SLLID at the IDDO warehouse in Madison, WI. Credit: IDDO

The drill heads for the SLLID. Credit: IDDO

The SLLID packed and ready for deployment to the field. Credit: IDDO

Stampfli Drill
The Stampfli Drill, a commercially-available shallow ice coring system purchased and received by IDDO in early 2017, is now ready for issue to investigators. Following a test of the system at Summit Station, Greenland, IDDO engineers made slight modifications to the commercial kit to include a more robust and replaceable steel cutter design and implemented a more efficient and lightweight packing strategy for remote deployments utilizing small aircraft and manpower for cargo movements. A tent is also available for use with the system. Science teams may operate the system on their own, with no drilling support from IDDO required, but are encouraged and welcome to visit IDDO in Madison, WI for pre-deployment hands-on familiarization training with the system if desired.

For more information about the Stampfli Drill, contact IDPO-IDDO at Icedrill at Dartmouth dot edu.

IDDO driller Elizabeth Morton field testing the Stampfli 2-Inch Drill in Greenland. Credit: Michael Jayred.

The shipping crate for the Stampfli Drill. Also shown is the optional tent (inside the brown/tan bag), which also fits inside the shipping crate. Credit: IDDO

Equipment Development (2017 Summer)

Winkie Drill
In preparation for the upcoming field season in Antarctica, IDDO outfitted the Winkie Drill with a new electric motor and larger diameter core barrel for collecting 76 mm diameter cores. Testing of the updated drill is ongoing at the IDDO warehouse. The Winkie Drill will be shipped to Antarctica in September where it will be used to collect dirty ice cores in Ong Valley, Antarctica, to depths of up to 20 meters.

IDDO Field Support Manager Anna Claussen and Engineer Grant Boeckmann perform testing of the Winkie Drill upgrades in the IDDO warehouse. Credit: Elliot Moravec.

Stampfli 2-Inch Drill
IDDO shipped the very lightweight, agile Stampfli 2-Inch Drill system to Greenland for field testing in June in conjunction with a funded field project taking place at Summit Station. The small, solar-powered drill operated well during the field test, producing 58 meters of core. Based on the results of the field test, IDDO is working to make minor repairs and modifications to the drill, procure spare parts, and develop a lightweight packing strategy for this system. The system could be ready for deployment and PI operation as early as the 2017-2018 Antarctic field season.

IDDO driller Mike Jayred with the second Stampfli 2-Inch Drill test core drilled during the 2017 Arctic field season. Credit: Elizabeth Morton

IDDO driller Elizabeth Morton field testing the Stampfli 2-Inch Drill. Credit: Michael Jayred

A variety of core samples retrieved with the Stampfli 2-Inch Drill during the 2017 Arctic field test of the drill. Credit: Elizabeth Morton

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
A conceptual design for extensive weight reduction based on the revised science requirements was completed in July. The conceptual design was presented to community scientists Sridhar Anandakrishnan and Paul Winberry for input in early August. Following that external review and any necessary modifications to the design, IDDO plans to begin purchasing primary components for the lighter-weight RAM Drill system in September/October.

Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill
The Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill is a lightweight, field portable hot water drill for drilling through several meters of sediment-laden lake ice. Following the April external design review and the ordering of components in May, IDDO began assembly of the system in June and plans to complete simple functionality testing at the IDDO warehouse in late summer and early fall. The system could be ready for deployment and PI operation as early as the 2018 Arctic field season.

Foro 3000 Drill
The Design Review of the Foro 3000 Drill was held on June 6. The Design Review was a virtual meeting where IDDO presented the Conceptual Design for the drill, and community scientists Eric Steig, Ed Brook, and T.J. Fudge provided feedback from the scientist/user perspective. The Conceptual Design for the drill is now complete. The Foro 3000 Drill is conceptually the same design as the existing Intermediate Depth Drill, but with a depth range extended to 3000 meters and drill run length extended from 2-meters to 3-meters.

DISC Drill versus Foro 3000 Analysis
Per discussions between IDPO, IDDO and community scientists, the next deep U.S. ice coring project will likely target Hercules Dome, Antarctica. IDDO, with assistance from Antarctic Support Contract and IDPO, is currently working with community representatives on a DISC Drill versus Foro 3000 Drill analysis, to help determine which system should be used for drilling at Hercules Dome. The analysis results will be summarized into a report for use by NSF and the science community.

Winch Simulator
Following discussions with Mary Albert and PI Ryan Bay, and due to decreased interest by the science community in IDDO purchasing an off-the-shelf winch simulator unit or designing a custom unit, IDDO plans to design a simple simulator circuit for each logging winch in inventory. IDDO envisions providing these circuit designs to PIs for building at their own institutions. PIs could then perform limited pre-deployment testing on their logging tools; however, IDDO will still encourage PIs to travel to Madison to test logging tools on the actual winches to be deployed. IDDO plans to complete design of the simulator circuits by the end of October.

Equipment Development (2017 Spring)

Stampfli 2-Inch Drill
Late in PY 2016, and in response to the U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office Long Range Science Plan, IDDO ordered an off-the-shelf 2-Inch Drill system from Icedrill.ch. IDDO received the Stampfli 2-Inch Drill in April 2017 and completed an initial assembly of the equipment. IDDO is planning to send the very lightweight, agile system to Greenland for field testing in June in conjunction with PI Baker's project (see Field Support to 2017 Arctic Projects above).

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
The science requirements were finalized for the modification and upgrade to the current Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill, which is used to create ~100-meter deep shot holes for seismic exploration. The science requirements target a system capable of drilling as fast as the existing RAM Drill, but at a small fraction of the current system weight. Numerical modeling and testing was initiated during the quarter to identify both the hose and drill head configurations required to achieve the desired results. The science requirements are available on the IDPO-IDDO website at https://icedrill.org/equipment/rapid-air-movement-drill.

Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill
The Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill is a lightweight, field portable hot water drill for drilling through several meters of sediment-laden lake ice. During the quarter, the detailed Conceptual Design for the drill was completed, and the Design Review was held on 4/5/17. The Design Review was a virtual meeting where IDDO presented the Conceptual Design for the drill, and community scientists Peter Doran and Andrew Thurbur provided feedback from the scientist/user perspective, and Dennis Duling provided feedback and recommendations on the technical aspects. Major drill components were purchased in April with consideration of feedback from the review.

Foro 3000 Drill
IDPO led iterative discussions between community scientists and IDDO engineers on the formation of science requirements for extending the Intermediate Depth Drill (IDD) to a 3,000-meter depth capability. The extended depth IDD is referred to as the 'Foro 3000 Drill'. IDDO will develop a Conceptual Design for the Foro 3000 Drill during the third quarter. The Foro 3000 Drill's science requirements are available on the IDPO-IDDO website at http://icedrill.org/equipment/foro-3000-drill.

Equipment Development (2016 Winter)

Stampfli 2-Inch Drill
In late PY 2016, and in response to the U.S. Ice Drilling Program Long Range Science Plan, IDDO procured an off-the-shelf Fast Electromechanical Lightweight Ice Coring System (FELICS) 2-inch coring system from Dieter Stampfli in Switzerland. The Stampfli 2-Inch Drill was purchased to meet requests by the community for a very lightweight, PI-operable system capable of collecting core down to 100-meters depth. IDDO expects to receive the drill during the second quarter.

Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill
During the first quarter, IDDO worked with IDPO and community scientists to define the science requirements for intended modifications and upgrades to this drill system. The requirements target a system capable of drilling as fast as the existing Rapid Air Movement (RAM) Drill, but at a small fraction of the current system weight. The speed required is not achievable with double-walled drill rod used in a typical Reverse Circulation drill system. Alternative solutions, including two approaches using a hose like the existing RAM drill, are being analyzed. Numerical models and testing will be used to identify both the hose and drill head configurations required to achieve the desired results. A system-level concept will also be completed.

Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill
IDDO initiated a detailed conceptual design late in the quarter for this new, very portable hot water drilling system. Design activities for the Sediment Laden Lake Ice Drill are expected to ramp up early in the second quarter.

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.