1 June 2009

The new NEEM drill on it’s maiden voyage

Group photo form this weekend?s visit.

Group photo form this weekend’s visit.

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 which have been developed for the new drilling fluid and should make the drill capable of drilling ice cores of more than 3 m per run. Almost everybody in camp witnessed the great moment, and the drill worked! A long beautiful ice core came out, and the faces of the drillers revealed that the run went really well. The whole camp is happy about the outcome, as the very existence of the camp depends on what goes on at the bottom of the hole. When the more than 3.5 m long ice core came out in a beautiful piece, the people who are going to take samples from the core were happy too, as good core quality is important for many good samples for the analysis of the climate of the past.

What we have done today:

  1. Drilling.
  2. Logging ice cores. Last Bag logged: 399, depth 219.45 m.
  3. Setting up equipment in science trench.
  4. Cutting and moving of snow blocks in physical properties cave now completed.
  5. Building up in the CFA laboratory.
  6. Making camp fuel inventory.
  7. Making refinements on logging table.

Ad.1: This is how the drillers report looks today: “Today seven runs with the EPICA drill and one run with the NEEM drill produced 19.94 meters. The NEEM drill was fully assembled and its inaugural run took place after dinner. All drillers participated and many from camp witnessed the production of a 3.55 meter core with steady and stable drilling. The pull out was quite hard requiring up to 600 kg from the hand winch to pull the chip chamber and the core barrel from the outer barrel. The upper part of the chip chamber was hard packed with chips. We will install more centering rings along to hollow shaft to try to alleviate the pressure at the upper end due to packing. We preformed a speed test on the way down that unfortunately gave a kink in the cable at about 86 meters. The cable will be cut and re-terminated in the morning.
Driller’s depth is 210.09 meters.”

Weather: Windy, overcast and blowing snow most of the day, later clearing and less wind, - 20 °C to -14 °C, 10-20 knots from SW.
Visibility: Unrestricted down to 1/2 km.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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