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Main dome liberation day – University of Copenhagen

NEEM > Field diaries folder > UK diaries 2015 > Main dome liberation day

13 May 2015

Main dome liberation day


The dome being excavated. The most important instruments in action: The Pistenbully and Mathias with a pick and Anna with a shovel.

So far, we have believed that the garages were the most difficult structures to prepare for the traverse. Today proved otherwise.

The snow base around the main dome has turned into a solid rock of ice, mostly because of water dripping from the roof in summer time. While a small work group dismantled the rest of the mechanics garage in the morning, it took the combined effort of everybody to chip away the ice from around the main dome skis. By the end of the day, everybody were exhausted; but the effects of the work could clearly be seen. Most of the skis are now free, and tomorrow we will try to pull the dome clear.

If all goes well, this will be the last time I am writing from this spot. By tomorrow evening, the dome should be parked on the former NEEM aeroplane apron along with all the other sleds for our traverse.

What we have done today:

1. Packed down borehole logger equipment and extended the casing.
2. Removing remaining parts of mechanics garage. Site  is now empty.
3. Made ramp for hauling up main dome.
4. Cut ice from around the skis of the main dome. Now only the inside of the side
    skis remain to be freed.
5. Contact with our colleagues on the Renland Ice cap at 20.30 local (22.30
    Renland time).

Ad.1: The 4 small casing extensions were removed and a full length casing pipe inserted.

Ad.4: There was a lot of ice around the skis and along the outside of the base ring. It took the entire crew most of the day to saw, pick, hack and dig the ice away. Sverrir developed a scraping technique with the Pistenbully blade, which he called “a cheese cutter”. He was able to break off slice by slice of the hard frozen snow and ice around the base. This saved a lot of time.

Ad.5: The Renland team reports all well and a good mood. Weather is fine, but warm (-8 °C) with a weak westerly wind. Today they drilled the firs runs with the main drill to 11 m. The shallow drill system and the first U.S. firn air sampling has reached 42 m depth. All cargo is organized, the kitchen tent is completed and food stores check out o.k.

NEEM weather: Mostly broken low clouds and fog in the evening. Temp. – 18 °C to -26 °C, 3-8 m/s from S. Visibility: In the morning 1 – 5 km, later 1 km.  

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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