15 June 2012

Marathon drilling and trench dismantling

Despite very long working hours the spirit of the drillers is still high


Windy conditions with snow, drifting, and white-out did not permit much surface work to be carried out today. Instead we focused on drilling, packing in the trenches, and preparations for moving the garage up on a new hill.

Drilling is currently extremely time consuming as the rock drill penetration is very slow in the icy conditions at the base of the hole, so progress is slow but steady.

In the science trench the ice core buffer, all the saws, and the tables have now been taken down and are ready to be taken to surface when weather permits.

What we have done today:
1. Drilling 69 cm sediment/ice core
2. Communication with NEGIS: All is well, weather is cloudy but better than at NEEM
3. Instrument maintenance in water vapor sampling tent
4. Getting garage ready for move
5. Clearing out science trench: taking down core buffer, saws, and tables

Ad. 1: The material recovered from the borehole now contains layered sections of clear, silty, and pebbly ice. Drilling in this sort of material requires a lot of patience and a single run can take up to 10 hours. So far, a total of 3.9 m basal material has been retrieved this season. The drill and its extension rods now take up the entire length of the drill tower and the inclined trench. Further extension of the drill will require assemblage and disassemblies of the drill while the deepest part of the drill is still in the casing.

Weather: It has been quite windy with winds around 20 knots from S and overcast. Late afternoon blue spells appeared and we hope for milder conditions in the coming days. Temp. –3°C to – 10°C.

The result of yesterdays ~10 hour marathon drilling


FL, Anders Svensson

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