We spent all day trying to make a directional drilling – University of Copenhagen

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16 June 2015

We spent all day trying to make a directional drilling

It was a long day to spend in the drill tent scratching the borehole wall without knowing the outcome. Here the winch control box.

It was a long day to spend in the drill tent scratching the borehole wall without knowing the outcome. Here the winch control box.

Today an attempt of directional drilling was made in the main borehole. The idea of directional drilling (also known as divergent drilling) is to obtain an additional ice core from a ‘second’ borehole that is drilled into the wall of the existing borehole at a certain depth.

It is the ice from the last glacial period and below that is of special interest, and therefore, the directional drilling is attempted just above this ice. With the available equipment it is a rather slow process to make the drill cut into the wall and a positive outcome is not guaranteed.

In order for the drill to cut its way into the borehole wall the borehole needs to have a small inclination. The drill is moved up and down over a 10 m interval with the drill head rotating in the hope that gravity makes the drill head scratch into the wall and start a second borehole.

The process went on over the entire day, but unfortunately, without success. Most likely the borehole inclination is too small for the drill to attack the wall. Therefore, the ice core drilling is now terminated and we will not have a second core from the deepest part of the ice.

Getting back to normal
Since we are now done with ice core drilling and processing, we will now leave the New Zealand time zone and go back to East Greenland time. Be awake during daytime and sleep during night as most people do. We make the change in two tempi of 6 hours, however, meaning that tomorrow Wednesday we will wake up at 1am for breakfast. Thursday we will be back on a regular schedule, maybe not mentally though…

Weather: Mostly blue sky, but some high clouds and also some ground fog. Temperatures -6°C to -10°C, wind 0-3 m/s from SE and E.

The shallow drill team celebrating the termination of a 11m core at the 1988 drill site as of yesterday (or day before yesterday… or two days ago?). Lizzie, Andrea, and Niccolò.

The shallow drill team celebrating the termination of a 11m core at the 1988 drill site as of yesterday (or day before yesterday… or two days ago?). Lizzie, Andrea, and Niccolò.

 

Renland FL, Anders

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