23 July 2010

Formula 1 Pit stop for ice core drills

Destroyed ice drill cutter
Destroyed ice drill cutter after drilling the ice with mud and pebbles.

The pebbles and mud in the ice wear down the drill cutters and core catchers. Between every run they need to be sharpened. Henry, Alex and Darcy man the driller’s workshop and when the drill is on the surface the pit stop starts. The cutters and catchers are repaired or replaced and when done the mechanics disappear into the workshop until the drill surfaces next time. We hope the stock of cutters and catchers will last.

Another very good news today is that the science trench finished processing the deep and old ice. The ice cores with basal material will be cut into bags and packed for transportation.
A double celebration in the science trench
The science trench is having a double celebration after finishing processing of the deepest ice.

Drilling: 2.73 m, drillers depth: 2521.00 m
Logging: 1.87 m, loggers depth: 2536.29 m
Processing: 28.05 m (bag 4557-4607), Final processing depth: 2533.85 m

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

Ad 1. The core catchers where observed to be very dull and a run to recover the core standing at the bottom was made with new sharp core catchers and no rotations. A 70 cm core was recovered. Next the step cutters where used to drill further 60-70 cm. We are still trying to catch this approximately 1 m core at the bottom of the borehole.

Weather: Overcast with wind up to 20 knots from SSE to S dropping to no wind at 17:00. The temperature has been from -7 to -4 °C. We have snowfall and snow drift when the wind is high and the pressure is very low.

FL’s Dorthe Dahl-Jensen and Anders Svensson

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