22 July 2010

Reaching basal ice

First ice core with basal ice bands
The first ice core with strong black bands of basal material.

Today the first ice core drilled showed strong bands of basal material. A study of the  black material revealed that it mainly was conglomerates of mud. A 4 mm pebble was also found.

This is a sure sign that we are close to bedrock and the excitement at NEEM was big. The event was celebrated at 18:00 with a glass of sparking wine in the drill trench. The drilling continued for the rest of the day and evening recovering quite small cores. The drilling will continue tomorrow.

Drilling: 1.30 m, drillers depth: 2518.27 m
Logging: 1.30 m, loggers depth: 2534.42 m
Processing: 23.65 m (bag 4514-4556), processing depth: 2505.80 m

What we have done today:
1. Drilling and core logging ice.
2. CFA packing.
3. Maintenance of generator
4. Media filming, photographing and interviewing in camp

Ad 1. During the night a nanocoating was applied to the shoes. The step cutters with the nanoshoes where used for the first run. The 70 cm long core had significant amounts of basal material and the cutters and core dogs where severely damaged by the material.

A second drill head with full cutters and asymmetric shoes where used in the second and third run and two small but quite clear ice cores where drilled. In the last run today with the resharpended step cutters  an appr. 1 m core was drilled but did not break from the bottom. An attempt was made to recover the ice core with no luck. The pump was dislocated during drilling. There was a lot of basal material between the ice chips so we suspect the ice core has a high content of basal material. Tomorrow a second attempt will be made to recover the core with the shaft #1 and a core barrel with a drill head with full cutters and asymmetric shoes.

Weather: Overcast with wind up to 25 knots from SSW to S and temperatures up to -4 °C . We have snowfall and snow drift, pressure is very low.

FL’s Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Anders Svensson

Celebrating the first core with bands of basal ice
The NEEM team celebrating the event

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