News related to IDPO-IDDO activities and other news pertinent to the U.S. ice drilling science and technology communities



August 5, 2016
John Goodge
RAID science workshop - Early 2017 (tentative), Scripps Institution of Oceanography La Jolla, California


Science Workshop for Research with the Rapid Access Ice Drill
Early 2017 (tentative)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, California

John Goodge, University of Minnesota Duluth
Jeff Severinghaus, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

We invite you to participate in a science workshop to help shape future interdisciplinary research with the Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID). Goals and initial planning for the workshop are outlined in this announcement. We will be sending out additional information in the near future. In meantime, please save the date on your calendars!

Goals of the workshop: RAID is in Antarctica! Now is a good time to bring together the scientific community interested in using the RAID system for deep glacial and subglacial sampling, and for the boreholes it will create, including integrated ice drilling, ice and rock coring, borehole logging, and geophysical data acquisition. This workshop will provide a venue to bring scientists together to explore new science questions or approaches; define science goals; seek synergies between different disciplines for RAID; and develop a coherent community science plan for use of this unique drilling system. The workshop will be a great opportunity to bring together researchers with scientific interests in ice-sheet dynamics, paleoclimate, borehole logging, the ice-sheet interface, exposure and uplift histories, subglacial bedrock geology, subglacial sediments, microbiology, heat flow, potential-field geophysics, seismology, geodetics, and ice-penetrating radar.

When: Originally scheduled for September 2016, we are postponing the workshop to early 2017. Please check the RAID website ( or contact one of the conveners for information.

Where: Scripps Institution of Oceanography and University of California San Diego in La Jolla. The meeting venue will be on the SIO campus. Accommodations will be made available at hotels near the SIO campus.

Who: The workshop is open to all scientists interested in using or contributing to the science enabled by RAID. Please pass this information on to anyone who might be interested.

Cost: There will be no meeting registration cost. We anticipate being able to provide partial travel support to US participants for travel and accommodation. Breakfast and lunch meals will be provided.

Travel information: Participants will make their own travel arrangements to San Diego. Hotel rooms will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis as they are available. Reimbursements for airfare and hotel will be made through Scripps. Participants are responsible for all other travel costs (food not provided, ground transportation, parking, etc.).

Responses: Interested participants should provide an expression of scientific interest by filling out a short form so that we can plan for the number of attendees and workshop agenda. Click the button below to get started.

Contact information:
Jeff Severinghaus
Tomomi Ushii
John Goodge
Karen Marshall

What is RAID? The Rapid Access Ice Drill is a mobile system capable of rapidly drilling deep boreholes in the Antarctic ice sheets and retrieving cores of deep ice, the glacial bed, and bedrock below. It will provide a critical first look at the interface between major ice caps and subglacial features over a wide area. RAID is designed to enable interdisciplinary research, including direct observation at the base of the modern ice sheets, access to polar paleoclimate records in ice >1 Ma, and recovery of billion-year rock cores from ice-covered East Antarctica, among many other multidisciplinary topics of interest that RAID can address. Because of its traversing capability, RAID can quickly make deep boreholes that will remain open for future down-hole observation. The RAID system was designed and optimized for drilling and coring in dry, frozen-bed conditions as will be encountered in the thick East Antarctic ice sheet. The initial operating region for RAID will be in the vicinity of and radiating from South Pole station toward the ice sheet interior.

What can RAID do? With an ice-cutting rate of up to 3 m/min, RAID is capable of making rapid boreholes in thick ice followed by coring in ice, the glacial bed, and subglacial bedrock. Example drilling targets include:

  • ice borehole: laser/optical logging to determine age of ice; acoustic log of deformation
  • short ice cores: reconnaissance sampling of 'old' ice (>1 Ma?)
  • glacial bed: ice flow conditions, basal material, microorganisms
  • short rock cores: samples for age dating, composition, surface exposure ages, crustal and uplift history, validation of potential-field characteristics
  • rock borehole instrumentation: heat flow, seismology, geodetics

RAID status: RAID is currently on the ice. Recent developments include:

  • design completed in late 2013
  • construction and outfitting of modules began in Utah in mid-2014
  • construction of cryogenic ice-drilling facility in Utah in early 2015
  • North American test of key components and drilling rates completed in March 2015
  • fabrication and construction of all major sub-systems in Utah in 2015
  • completion of integration and validation in October 2015
  • commissioned in early November 2015
  • shipment to Antarctica complete in January 2016
  • rig currently in storage in McMurdo
  • Antarctic Field Trials planned for December 2016 near McMurdo Station

Please plan to attend the RAID science workshop this fall! We look forward to seeing a wide range of participants.

February 21, 2014
Scientific Highlights for SCAR Standing Groups

Attention Ice Drilling and WAIS Divide Ice Core Colleagues -


----- Message from Berry Lyons -----
We are looking for scientific "highlights" over the past year from each of the Standing Groups to present to the Treaty Parties at the upcoming meeting. So now is the time to advertise the great science that is being done by US scientists and subsidiary groups. Please send me a paragraph (a few sentences) and references/citations, where possible, about your work/results. Please respond by the end of the month to one of the SSG members mentioned below. These are your representatives to the SCAR Standing Scientific Groups.

Thanks very much in advance



March 8, 2013
The Antarctic Sun
SPICE-ing it up

New project plans to retrieve South Pole ice core beginning in 2014-15

January 4, 2013
Antarctic Sun
Copy that

WAIS Divide team drills historic replicate ice core in West Antarctica

January 13, 2012
The Antarctic Sun
The Last Core

WAIS Divide deepens borehole for research into climate change

January 1, 2012
WAIS Divide Ice Core Completed!!!!

HUGE event at WAIS Divide this week. The hole was deepened to its final depth of 3405 m (as measured with the drill cable). It was a stressful week with long shifts, tense moments, little sleep, and the end of a ten-year effort to get the core.

December 21, 2011
Global and Regional Climate Signals from Ice Cores, 2012 SCAR Open Science Conference :: 16-19 July 2012, Portland, OR

Global and Regional Climate Signals from Ice Cores
2012 SCAR Open Science Conference
16-19 July 2012
Portland, OR

Ice cores provide information about past climate and environmental conditions on time scales from decades to hundreds of millennia, and direct records of the composition of the atmosphere. As such, they are cornerstones of global change research. For example, ice cores play a central role in showing how closely climate and greenhouse gas concentrations were linked in the past, and in demonstrating that very abrupt climate switches can occur. In this session we invite contributions to our understanding of regional and global climate from Antarctic cores, on all time and spatial scales. Presentations on methods of climate reconstruction, and presentations that address the relationship of Antarctic climate with global or large scale regional climate are also welcome.

Meeting Web Site:
Abstract Submission: (requires making an account first)
Abstract Deadline: February 15, 2012

September 2, 2011
The Antarctic Sun
Getting to the bottom

NICL team processes deepest ice from WAIS Divide project

July 22, 2011
The Antarctic Sun
On the surface

Scientists find old ice for climate studies at top of Antarctic glacier

July 20, 2011
IPICS First Open Science Conference :: 1-5 October 2012, Giens, France

The first Open Science Conference of the International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) will be held from 1-5 October 2012 at the beautiful setting of the Belembra club, situated on the border of the Mediterranean Sea in one of the best spots of the French C??te d'Azur.

The objective of the conference is to present, discuss and put into perspective the most recent results of past and current ice core drilling projects (deep drillings such as EPICA, WAIS Divide, NEEM, TALDICE,... but also shallow drillings) in Antarctica and Greenland. Other ice core drilling projects conducted in non-polar glaciers or in other Arctic sites are also welcome. The four IPICS white papers will structure the conference programme. Gathering mostly ice core scientists, the conference expects to also attract researchers working on other paleoclimate archives as well as paleoclimate modelers and glaciologists.

For more information, please visit the conference web site at:

March 11, 2011
The Antarctic Sun
Extreme environment

Scientists drill into frozen Lake Vida to explore its unusual biology, chemistry and history

January 31, 2011
The Antarctic Sun
Deep core complete

WAIS Divide project finishes five-year effort to retrieve 3,331 meters of ice

News Archive

Archive of older news from IDPO-IDDO.