15 June 2010

The heart of NEEM camp stood still for 35 minutes

This picture appears rather distorted. It is a panorama from one end of the science trench to the other. The person to the very left is packing samples for green house gas analysis. The white box with the door is the CFA laboratory. The person in the center is preparing optical scan on the device with red light at his left. The table with the bright light is where the ice is polished before scanning. The persons to the right are measuring ECM. And to the very right are the plastic curtains behind which is our core storage.

Today is one of the days where we perform routine maintenance on the main generator. It is a 130 kW diesel generator, and it delivers all electrical power to camp. It is the heart of camp. Everybody has to be forewarned before power is switched off, and we ensure that the drill is on the surface. It gives most people a small break; but in the CFA laboratories there is hectic activity, as they have to watch all their equipment as it runs on back-up battery power.

In the kitchen, water has to be stored in pitchers and coffee has to be made beforehand, as all ice core processors gather in the kitchen for a drink during the power cut. You really come to realise how dependent we all are on electrical power.

Sverrir and Lou took care of the generator, and it is treated as a little baby. We do have several emergency generators in camp; but they are small (15kW) and are only meant to ensure survival in case of emergency, so great care for the generator is well placed.

What we have done today:
1. Drilling and logging.
2  Processed ice cores: 42 bags, from 3674 to 3715.
3. Measuring CFA.  Measured 18.7 m. CFA depth: 1651.65 m
4. Groomed skiway and taxiway with beam groomer in zig-zag and along.
5. Welded extra guides on sled for second fuel tank.
6. Maintenance on main generator.

Ad.1: Drillers report:

Seven runs today with a pitch of about 2.2 mm.  All were good except one where “there was more ice under the shoes than there was in the core barrel!”  (Adrian Schildt).  Inclination has been stable over the last two days since drilling with negative cutter load.

Driller’s depth: 2089.86 meters.  Logging depth:  2104.39 m.

Ad.6: The main generator was switched off today for 35 minutes in order to perform routine maintenance: Oil change, filter change, battery acid level check and coolant level check.

Weather: Blue sky, in the evening total cloud cover returned. Temp. - 15 °C to - 6 °C, 10 knots from SE then SW. Visibility: Unrestricted, but poor surface contrast due to cloud cover.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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