24 June 2009

Greenland hotspot

Field participants behaving on sunny ice

Field participants behaving on sunny ice.

Summer has come to NEEM with clear blue sky, no winds and temperatures around -10°C during day time.

In fact, high temperatures cause a major problem in camp. When ice cores are pulled up from the bore hole they have temperatures around -28°C and high temperatures in the drill trench may cause them to break into pieces when they leave the drills' core barrel. In order to keep trenches as cold as possible all trench entrances are kept closed and cooling tunnels have been installed from which cold air is sucked from the surrounding firn. Furthermore, cool air is pumped into the trenches from surface during cold nights.

In the insulated hut for chemical analysis in the science trench (the CFA hut), there is so much electronic equipment installed that temperatures eventually reach +25°C and a ventilation system has been installed. It is somewhat bizarre to watch the T-shirt-wearing CFA people through the windows of their subtropical terrarium deep in the ice sheet. On the positive side, it is now possible to enjoy afternoon tea outside Main Dome in the sun. At the upper floor of main dome the evening temperatures approach 30°C even with open windows.

It is simply too warm up here!

What we have done today:

  1. Drilling with the NEEM long drill. Depth: 592.76 m
  2. Logging is on standby
  3. Ice core processing. Depth: 359.15 m
  4. CFA analysis. Depth: 86.35 m.
  5. Moving 4 m long core troughs from surface to science trench.
  6. Started BAS radar measurements.
  7. Started c-axis analysis with French fabric analyzer.

Ad.1: Drillers report:
"Another good day in the drill trench as we train the new drillers in the intricacies of the NEEM deep drill. We recovered 18.7 m of core in six runs finishing at a depth of 592.76 meters. We have improved the extraction of the core from the barrel by reducing thermal shock on the core troughs with strips of duct tape but in this brittle zone ice cracks still occur in the core length."

Ad. 2: Because we have entered the brittle zone, the freshly drilled ice cores are brought directly to the core buffer in the new 4m troughs without logging. After some relaxation time they will be logged.

Weather: Sun shining from a clear blue sky all day; no wind; day -10°C, night -20°C.

Field leader Anders Svensson

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