Fantastic start on the liquid drilling – University of Copenhagen

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RECAP > RECAP News and Field diaries > 2015 RECAP Field diaries > Fantastic start on the...

20 May 2015

Fantastic start on the liquid drilling

Drillers Dennis Wistisen (left) and Bruce Vaughn (middle) extract the inner core barrel. Seconds later, chief driller Trevor Popp (right) disconnects the inner core barrel from the drill, so the core barrel which holds the freshly drilled ice core can be moved to the logging table. The chips are separated from the drill liquid, which is recycled.

Drillers Dennis Wistisen (left) and Bruce Vaughn (middle) extract the inner core barrel. Seconds later, chief driller Trevor Popp (right) disconnects the inner core barrel from the drill, so the core barrel which holds the freshly drilled ice core can be moved to the logging table. The chips are separated from the drill liquid, which is recycled.

After a few runs, we went into a good routine of wet drilling. The liquid in the hole lubricates the cutting of ice and enhances transport of the chips away from the drill head, making it possible to increase the average core length to two meters.

It is great to see that all the drill development work in the workshops back home pays off now.

Drilling felt brutally cold, and in ten runs, we produced about 19.5 meters of core – an absolutely fantastic start on the liquid drilling.

Logged depth 152.48 m

The shallow drilling continues in a highly efficient and successful mode, and stopped today at a depth of 53 meters.

We also packed ice core boxes with snow on top of the ice cores, preparing them for shipping, and rearranged the boxed in the ice core freezer to optimize space.

In the early morning, Todd Sowers followed the last known GPS position of his drone and recovered it about 2 kilometers from camp, where it had landed gently on the snow.

The timing was perfect, as the wind picked up later in the day and created snowdrifts that would have made recovery unlikely, if not impossible. We spent a fair amount of work securing tents and moving equipment to prevent it from getting covered by drifts.

Weather: Just hours after the departure of the helicopter, clouds rolled in, and the wind picked up from southerly and easterly directions. Estimated maximum winds 10 m/s around 3 am UTC. With all the loose snow from the previous days, there is a lot of drift, and the relative moisture in the air is at the highest observed level during our time here: 84%. The daily minimum temperatures dropped to -20°C, the lowest in many days, and remained relatively low due to the obscured sun. It feels cold, not the least for the drillers who have to handle the wet drill and cores.


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