25 June 2010

Reaching into the unknown past

NEEM Table Football Cup 2010
Parallel to the world championship in the outside world a local championship is held at NEEM.

The main purpose of the NEEM project is to recover the oldest ice core from the Greenland ice sheet. The oldest existing Greenland ice core is the NorthGRIP core that has an age of 123 ka in the deepest part. This time is in the middle of the previous interglacial period, the Eemian, where Earth's climate was warmer than today and the global sea level was higher than it has ever been since.
Also the NorthGRIP ice core was drilled with the purpose of obtaining the oldest Greenland ice, but due to high geothermal heat and bottom melting at the NorthGRIP site the oldest ice from that location has melted away.
Other deep Greenland ice cores such as the GRIP and GISP2 cores from Summit probably contain even older ice but their layering is disturbed in the oldest part.

Just these days, the NEEM drill is approaching Eemian ice that has never before been recovered in Greenland. Until now it has been possible to match the NEEM and the NorthGRIP cores through their very similar dielectric and isotopic profiles. From now on, however, we are entering the unknown past and nobody knows what to expect. To be continued...

What we have done today:
1. Drilling and core logging. Drillers depth: 2228.81 m. Loggers depth: 2244.01 m.
2. Processed deep ice cores to depth 2188.45 m.
3. CFA measurements. 16.5 m. Final depth: 1815.55 m.
4. Resupplied and documented cooks freezer.

Weather: Overcast during the day, clearing up in the evening. Temp. -8 °C to -4 °C, wind 4-8 knots from S.

FL, Anders Svensson

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