Field season 2009
Field Season 2009 has been completed succesfully
20 August 2009
After a very successful season the NEEM camp has closed down. The camp will open again in May 2010.
17 August 2009
During the day all the many boxes from all the participating nations appeared from the trenches and the tents and the pallets could be built.
The big packing day
16 August 2009
The work started at 10:00 am today and there was packing and documenting on the agenda in the whole camp. Suddenly order seemed to appear all over camp.
Last Saturday Night at NEEM this year
15 August 2009
At 16:00 when the generator was turned off for maintenance the candles were lit in the science trench and we celebrated the termination of the ice core processing at NEEM
World record in ice core drilling
14 August 2009
The final drill day at NEEM was followed with great excitement because we knew we would break the world record in ice core drilling
The Bead Bomb
13 August 2009
Ice from the Last Glacial Maximum
12 August 2009
The ice being processed in the science trench is 30.000 years old from the deep Last Glacial Maximum.
The camp is preparing for the close down next week
11 August 2009
The pull out is next week so the preparations for packing down the camp has started.
A super good and productive day
10 August 2009
Actually everything runs in routine: good sunny weather, good drilling and good work in the science trench
Sunday morning brunch with Blue Grass entertainment
9 August 2009
Jesper played a bass made of half a fuel drum and a bamboo pole
Processing ice from the glacial period
8 August 2009
Science is getting very exciting as we enter the glacial period
The sauna is finished
7 August 2009
The last construction in camp is a sauna placed in the storage garage
The end of season is getting closer
6 August 2009
We have approximately one week of normal drilling, processing and CFA left, before we need to pack down the equipment.
A beautiful sunny day
5 August 2009
The drilling, the CFA, the science and the logistic work just run in routine.
A good and productive day in camp
4 August 2009
We prepared the camp and skiway to be used for training by LC-130
Measuring CO2 in the Science Trench
3 August 2009
A first picture of the Picarro output: the monitoring of the CO2 content in the Science Trench.
A quite day - with no accidents
2 August 2009
The science trench reached into Bølling-Allerød ice today, the drillers drilled run 500, the methan Picarro instrument is doing well and the CFA is getting into routine with the new manning.
1 August 2009
Today is the Swiss national day so we had a Swiss evening. Thanks to Suzanne, Uhrs, Adrian (Swiss guy) and Robert for an excellent meal.
Back to Routine
31 July 2009
The Media and DV visit and the exchange of crew has a big impact on a camp isolated 3 weeks in between the flight periods. So although all in camp enjoyed the fresh air from the outer world there was a BIG sigh of relief when the skier took of Thursday afternoon.
The Media and DV Visit - and Exchange of Crew
30 July 2009
A very busy day in camp for all. The morning began very early with weather observations, packing of ice pallets grooming of skiway and packing of personal equipment.
The transition ice has been drilled
29 July 2009
Today we celebrated that we have drilled past the glacial to interglacial transition 11.703 years before 2000AD.
The beauty of ice crystals
28 July 2009
A less than 0.5mm thin slice of ice placed between polarized light reveal the single ice crystals in the ice core.
27 July 2009
A deep borehole through the ice needs to be filled with drill liquid to avoid the borehole to close due to ice flow. At NEEM we use a mixture of ESTISOL 240 (coconut oil extract) and COASOL.
26 July 2009
Phillipe has just finalized the drilling of a 3.2 m long ice core. How do we know?
Aperitif at the Firn Village
25 July 2009
Our Saturday night celebrations started with snacks and good red vine at the Firn Village 2 km from the main NEEM camp.
Is the weather always good at NEEM?
24 July 2009
We have had good weather with blue sky and low winds since the last crew exchange, which was on July 9.
The science trench becomes very lively again
23 July 2009
Today was the day where we started processing the ice below the brittle zone. It was a great success.
The brave drillers
22 July 2009
Drilling a deep ice core is actually a very ‘wet’ affair. When the drillers remove the ice core from the drill they often get soaked.
We are out of the brittle zone
21 July 2009
Finally we are through the brittle zone and the ice drilled and logged today will be processed later this week when it has relaxed in the core buffer for some days.
The loggers have caught up!
20 July 2009
A great effort has been made by the loggers to catch up with the drillers when the end of the brittle zone was reached. Today, 119.20 m of ice was logged - what a record!
A true Sunday story
19 July 2009
Here is a true Sunday story: To avoid too bad smells in the main dome we have two outdoor toilets. They consist of a little tent over a comfortable wooden seat padded with insulating material and placed over a deep hole in the snow.
18 July 2009
Saturday evening in camp was special as usual. We had a more than excellent French meal cooked by the French team. THANKS!
Working with the shallow cores
17 July 2009
At the firn village we have Zoe and Kaitlin who are interested in the ice cores from the shallow drilling
NEEM - the Plywood Eating Camp
16 July 2009
It is amazing how many sheets of plywood that is used every week. With each flight period 20-30 sheets of plywood are shipped to the camp – and often there exists plans for the use of the sheets. But –
Restaurant NEEM - best place in town
15 July 2009
With two cooks in camp, Brandon and Louise, we are truly spoilt. Fantastic meals and several varieties of cakes during the day make life really comfortable in camp.
A Busy Camp
14 July 2009
The NEEM camp is a busy camp with drilling from 08:00 in the morning until 24:00 at night and CFA and logging 24 hours a day. At most meals 8 of the 36 in camp are on shifts and eat at other times.
Getting into routine again
13 July 2009
Camp is getting into routine again. All have been busy today and logging, CFA and drilling is nearly back to the ‘normal’ high production with the new teams
A day with exchange of many people in camp
12 July 2009
Today was a lucky day and we received the skier at 10:00. 15 new people arrived, 8 left us. It is sad to say goodbye and wonderful to say hello.
Storage of brittle ice cores
11 July 2009
The core buffer is filling up with 4m troughs with the brittle ice cores from the depth 600 m to the present depth 1055 m (loggers depths). The capacity of the core buffer has been calculated to be able to store all the brittle ice core over winter
The NEEM control tower
10 July 2009
At the top of main dome is installed a cabin from where one has one of the best views of the Greenland ice sheet. In the cabin is installed the camp communication equipment, radio, satellite telephone, weather station and internet connection.
Ice fog all night long
9 July 2009
This morning we had planned a flight mission with departure from SFJ at 4 in the morning. We plan flights at night in order to have low temperatures; the high day temperatures make it difficult for the plane to take off as the snow becomes sticky
Drilling reaches 1000 m depth
8 July 2009
Celebration! Today at around dinnertime the NEEM deep drilling reached a depth of 1000.07 m (driller’s depth).
7 July 2009
‘Grooming’ is the term for driving up and down the skiway in a heavy vehicle with a beam or a tiller hooked on whereby the snow surface gets flattened and compacted.
First results of on-line water isotope measurements
6 July 2009
We are very proud of being able to show the first results from the new instrument here.
Ice core stratigraphy
5 July 2009
From time to time certain interesting features occur such as a volcanic ash layer, a dust layer, or melt layers.
Saturday nights at NEEM
4 July 2009
Saturday nights at ice drilling camps in Greenland have a long tradition reaching back to the Dye-3, Summit, and NGRIP drillings.
NEEM production curves
3 July 2009
The drilling is now in the brittle-zone that covers roughly the interval 600-1200 m depth. The ice in this interval is not suited for processing this year because of high pressure air bubbles and we, therefore, store the brittle ice in a core buffer until next year, when it has relaxed. If the production remains high – knock on wood – we may get well through the brittle zone this year.
British Antarctic Survey Radar measurements
2 July 2009
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is running an associated project at NEEM, i.e. a project not directly related to the ice core drilling. Fabien Gillet and Timothy Burton have spent the last week driving skidoo to various points in the surroundings with their radar, GPS, radio, and a tent for the case of sudden change of weather.
NEEM animal life
1 July 2009
Today we had for the first time in more than a week a visitor in camp: a Pagohpilia eburnean (see picture) that normally spends its time in selected areas at the coast. On arrival, the bird was served bread crumbs and mackerel in tomato sauce that it ate immediately.
Ice crystal measurements
30 June 2009
The colourful image to the left shows a 300 micrometer thick ice sample from 440 m depth in the NEEM ice core that was obtained yesterday. The sample is about 9 cm wide and 4 cm high and the top of the sample (upwards) points to the left.
NEEM points of interests
29 June 2009
After a hard working day the NEEM camp area offers a variety of evening entertainment. In the case of nice weather, one of the most popular sights is the skiway.
THE Christmas snow processed
28 June 2009
This Sunday morning some of the ice that went through the saws of the science trench was exactly 2009 years old. We thus passed the transition from year 1 AD (+1) to year 1 BC (-1), including the snow that fell on Christmas Eve 1 AD.
Volcanic fingerprints in the ice
27 June 2009
Today the science trench processed almost 2000 year old ice and the famous Vesuvius eruption from 79 AD was identified in the Electrical Conductivity Measurement (ECM) at 410 m depth.
The NEEM production line
26 June 2009
The drilling, processing, and analysis routines are now up and running after the 2/3 crew change last Tuesday. Read more about the ice core work-flow in the diary.
Camp is picking up speed
25 June 2009
Today was our first regular working day since the major crew exchange Tuesday. Drilling is picking up speed with more than 27 m of new ice core recovered. The ice core processing is also accelerating with more than 20 m ice processed today, and in the CFA cabin the psychologically important first 100 m of ice has been measured.
24 June 2009
Summer has come to NEEM with clear blue sky, no winds and temperatures around -10°C during day time. However, the warm temperatures are not very good for the ice cores, and measures are taken to keep the trenches and ice cores as cold as possible. At the upper floor of Main Dome the evening temperatures approach 30°C even with open windows. It is simply too warm up here!
A major crew exchange
23 June 2009
Over the last two days about 2/3 of the camp population has been exchanged by two flight missions. The exchange involves all camp functions including the cook, the doctor, drillers, ice core processors and the field leader. Many of our new participants are experiencing their first day on the Greenland ice cap, so there is much new to teach and learn during the coming days before camp will be back at full speed.
We got visitors
22 June 2009
The 109th had asked us if we would host a visit from a U.S. press delegation, and of course we said yes. At 12:38 the plane landed in camp, and we gave the visitors a tour of the activities. The visitors happened to be in the drill trench as an ice core was pulled up. At 14.10 the plane left camp with no difficulty at all.
Greenland national day and voodoo in camp
21 June 2009
Today is Greenland national day. It also marks the transition to a new form of self governance for the Greenland nation. We celebrated the day and send our best wishes for good fortune to the people and governments of Greenland and Denmark in the new form of Commonwealth.
Saturday. And still a lot of things got done.
20 June 2009
All available hands were busy digging the cooling tunnel in the science trench. The core is getting more brittle. Today one broke when it was pushed out of the core barrel. Still, the drillers and loggers were able to retrieve today’s production in a good way. As blinds have been mounted in the main dome, we were able to dine in a pretend night. The darkness gave an altogether different feel to Saturday night.
Brittle ice is at hand
19 June 2009
This morning the loggers, Bo and Susanne, were frustrated. The nice line up of the table yesterday was not enough, and the first core fractured on them.
A day of successes and disappointments
18 June 2009
The CFA laboratory made their first measurements today! The Swiss part of the system works, except sulphate, which the crew will work on the coming days.
A routine day with fine weather
17 June 2009
In the CFA lab the final little adjustments are playing tricks, so now the hope is that by tomorrow the lab should go on-line.
A busy, but effective day in the caves
16 June 2009
People in the science trench processed almost 35 m core today. This is new NEEM record.
A nice routine day
15 June 2009
A rhythm has settled over camp, and it’s a good one too. People have found their work rhythm, and everything is working.
A beautiful Sunday
14 June 2009
Although work began late, camp was soon up to full speed. Weather was beautiful and the day passed in a fine way.
13 June 2009
With the drilling going fine with at good rate of descent and the core processing picking up speed, there was good cause to celebrate Saturday night.
Second day of good processing and drilling
12 June 2009
On this fine day, drilling and processing continued at a good rate. Today the core containing the volcanic eruption of 1259 AD was processed.
A wonderful landmark achievement at NEEM
11 June 2009
Today has been a fine day not only weather wise but for the project.
We begin to understand farmers
10 June 2009
Although we sit on the Greenland ice sheet and believe ourselves to be “brave polar scientists”, we are for the most part city dwellers back home.
We are now drilling and analyzing ice core
9 June 2009
This is the first day in a hopefully long period of ice core drilling, ice core sampling and ice core measurements. We are in a “all hands on deck” situation.
A small revolution
8 June 2009
Today, the science trench was ready to begin processing. A few cores were passed through the different positions, saws were adjusted and little details were corrected. It was a start, and tomorrow the science trench will slowly gather speed and efficiency in processing. The shelves in the cook’s freezer were finished, and all frozen food was put in place. Now, we just need to put up a small storage garage, and NEEM camp construction will be finished.
A quiet day on the ice.
7 June 2009
The whole science trench is now ready for action; but some problems with the electronics for the DEP and line scanner make us wait half a day. Plastic bags, pencils, forms, saws and instructions are ready. People are ready. We begin slowly. People have to learn the different tasks and the saws have to be adjusted to perform cuts precisely according to the planned pattern.
We finished the entrance to drill and science trenches on a cold and windy morning.
6 June 2009
This morning began cold and windy and our newcomers got an experience of how weather normally is in the beginning of May. A valiant crew managed to erect a white weatherport on top of the elevator and staircase, and we will soon close the inclined trench that leads down to the bottom of the stair case.
Fine weather and the newcomers are settling in
5 June 2009
We are many now, and for the three of us: Sverrir, Sarah og J.P. who are the only remaining from the put-in more than a month ago, it is interesting to see how camp changes character once again.
Today was a nail biting experience
4 June 2009
It was last chance to get 9 people out in order for them to reach the plane back to Europe without re-booking and buying new tickets.
Weather is bad - waiting did not help
3 June 2009
Today we had snow and wind all day and high temperatures too. We held the plane as long as possible, but weather didn’t improve. At 12.00 the plane was cancelled.
Many are preparing to leave
2 June 2009
Tomorrow is the planned flight for a crew change. 10 are scheduled to leave, and 17 are scheduled to arrive. After the exchange tomorrow camp will be fully manned.
The new NEEM drill on it’s maiden voyage
1 June 2009
Today’s big event was the first run with the new NEEM drill. Compared to the old NGRIP/EPICA drill, the new drill is outfitted with several new constructions.
A grand and successful weekend (30 & 31.05.09)
31 May 2009
At 14:00 Saturday afternoon NEEM camp had an invasion. A group of 31 people visited the camp of which 18 spent Saturday night in camp. Camp population soared to 44 and the main dome was crowded.
Anxiety grows as DV visit moves closer
29 May 2009
Many activities in camp today reflects the planned DV visit tomorrow. People are beginning to be a bit apprehensive on the imminent arrival of 31 visitors.
Snow blocks, snow blocks and more snow blocks
28 May 2009
As the 6.5 m deep shaft for the elevator and staircase was nearing its completion, we realised that we had to switch places of the elevator and the staircase.
We got a roof on, and the weather begins to act funny
27 May 2009
Glorious weather continues
26 May 2009
We are so lucky with the weather. For several days, we have had little wind, and this is good as we are excavating a very deep trench which could very quickly fill up with snow if we had strong winds.
Another glorious day on the ice
25 May 2009
The camp is changing shape. Sverrir has removed all snow drifts around garages, and they are now level with the surface.
24 May 2009
This Sunday morning, the main power of camp was disconnected, as Bruno exchanged the main power distribution panel on the generator hut.
We can now drill 2 m ice cores each run
23 May 2009
With the drill trench fully operational, the drillers have turned their attention to learning to handle the drill fluid, to observe how the drill fluid interacts with the drill, and to tuning the various components of the drill.
A long ice core
22 May 2009
It has been a blusterous day. Snow began to move after Noon. For Henry it was quite annoying.
We have the best weather ever this season
21 May 2009
A number of important steps were taken today. The drillers poured fluid into the borehole in preparation of deep ice core drilling. One of the broken winch controllers was repaired. We now have a backup.
We receive the last plane for the put-in period
20 May 2009
Today we received the last plane with cargo for camp construction. Skier 71 arrived under the same weather conditions than on Monday; but the crew made it and we received precious cargo.
19 May 2009
A lot of things are happening now. The many new people really make the camp move. One group erected three weatherports and our camp is now fully established.
A plane arrives and camp experiences a revolution
18 May 2009
Today the plane arrived bringing 15 new members to camp. Two people, HansPeter and Henrik left, so for the 8 remaining of the in-put team, it was no less than a revolution.
Now we hope for a plane tomorrow
17 May 2009
After a late Sunday morning start, people went to their tasks. The drillers did a fine job, and they are satisfied with today’s outcome. We are now hoping the weather will give us some respite so that we may have a plane tomorrow.
Drilling into the ice below the casing
16 May 2009
Although weather has cleared, the snow still blows. Tomorrow, we will be forced to go out on the skiways to groom them anyway.
The first ice core drilled
15 May 2009
Outside, the mess continued; but later in the day the wind abated a bit, and we were able to see the effects of the blow. New snowdrifts have formed, several of them more than 1 meter high.
We work inside and below - outside is a mess
14 May 2009
All through the day we have been forced to stay out of the weather. The wind reached its maximum in the afternoon with speeds of 38 knots.
A day of successes
13 May 2009
Yesterday it was decided to receive a plane from Thule with fuel. As most of the Greenland ice sheet stations had bad weather, NEEM was the only site with still god weather, and therefore the Hercules plane in Thule offered us two fuel deliveries in one day.
Two great frustrations and one good advance
12 May 2009
It never becomes routine to receive an aircraft in camp. It is always an anxious time. To our great frustration, the pilots did not find the skiways as good as we thought them to be.
Preparing for a plane tomorrow
11 May 2009
The last preparations for the plane tomorrow were made today. It is planned, that the plane will land at NEEM with cargo and then fly to Thule for pick up of fuel.
A beautiful day - what a contrast to yesterday
10 May 2009
Sunday morning, the crew starts working a little later than normal. Nevertheless, we achieved quite a lot. The drillers now have contact with the drill, and some time was spent on optimizing the communication.
A blusterous day with snow drift
9 May 2009
Today was indeed windy. From the morning we had wind at 20 kt and it picked up to reach maximum at 28 kt by 1 PM. Visibility was restricted to 300 m, and temperatures around -20 C made it not feasible to work outside.
Preparations for flights next week begin
8 May 2009
Focus of camp activities are beginning to shift from construction and installation to preparation for the flights next week. Sverrir and J.P. have been grooming the skiways all day. And another weather port was built.
7 May 2009
Sverrir was told today, that he has become grandfather to a newborn boy in Iceland. Actually, several in camp have the age to be grandparents, grandaunts or granduncles. One member is mid-thirties. That is Trevor. We call him “boy” or “junior”.
Two steps forward and one backward
6 May 2009
Let’s begin with the step backward. As the drillers prepared for the pull test, to see if the cable is properly attached to the top of the drill, our second winch control broke down. Now we are unable to operate the winch.
Mishaps do happen
5 May 2009
Today the drillers mounted the top section of the drill. This is called the anti-torque. The anti-torque consists of three sharp curved spring blades that easily slide up and down the borehole, but the spring blades prevent any rotation as they firmly grip the inside wall of the hole
Nice day for outdoor work
4 May 2009
Sverrir with the Pistenbully and Hans Christian with the snow blower moved
a lot of snow today. It made camp look a lot nicer. Henrik was really
dedicated, and managed to setup the snowmelter and hook it onto the hot
water system. Now a lot of snow is melting, and we begin to hope for a
shower and wash soon.
3 May 2009
Today brought several big changes. In the drill trench, the winch control is now working fine. This is a major step in the preparations for drilling.
First Saturday in camp
2 May 2009
It has been a rather windy day, but we managed to erect a weatherport for
the camp food supplies. We were able to transfer all the food left behind
last year in the main dome kitchen to the weatherport. All of a sudden we
got a lot of floor space in the dining area.
A beautiful and crisp day
1 May 2009
This was a beautiful day, and we could work outside. The drillers worked on final adjustments of the drill tower and cut a slot in the drill trench roof so the top of the tower can go to through the roof. The slot has subsequently been covered with a box with a polycarbonate window. This provides some skylight into the drill trench. Seen from the side, the box resembles the conning tower of a submarine. It is therefore nicknamed "the submarine". This construction has been planned all along.
An 18 hour blizzard passes
30 April 2009
On Wednesday Lars, our Field Operations Manager in Kangerlussuaq, informed us that our forecaster predicted a storm coming our way. Wednesday night we closed all tents and prepared our equipment for a blow.
Gained access to trenches, cleaning up and and construction work begins
29 April 2009
After spending a cool night, everybody went to their jobs, moving snow and cargo and starting the construction work. At noon today, temperatures in the kitchen rose above freezing, and in the evening we had +8°C in the kitchen and +16°C on the first floor. Quality of life has improved considerably.
Arrival in NEEM camp after winter.
28 April 2009
The opening of camp turned out to be a successful but cold affair. It was a strange sight to see camp after almost a year. Everything was standing as we left it, but somehow everything looked eerily different.
Arrival at NEEM
27 April 2009
The first eleven field party members landed at the NEEM site at 11:50 local time April 28. The camp was partially buried in snow after significant snow drifts during the winter. The first task was therefore to move large amounts of snow to ensure access to the buildings. At 8 pm, the Kangerlussuaq office received the news that everybody were sitting inside the main dome happy and relaxed, enjoying a nice warm meal at -12°C.
Field season 2009 has started
26 April 2009
The NEEM field office in Kangerlussuaq was opened for the 2009 field season by Lars Berg Larsen on April 20. Jørgen Peder Steffensen and Lone Holm Hansen joined the field office team on April 24.
The first team of scientists going into the field will arrive in Kangerlussuaq April 27 and opening of the NEEM camp will take place April 28 or when conditions permit.
2008 field diaries
In 2008 the NEEM camp was constructed and the drilling started, paving the way for the first full field season of 2009. Read the 2008 field diaries here.
2007 field diaries
In 2007 the researchers moved their equipment from the earlier drilling site NGRIP to the new drilling site NEEM. Read the 2007 field diaries here.