2005-06 End of Season Field Reports

Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDDO) group Activities at WAIS Divide 2005-2006 (T-350)
NSF-OPP supported
PI: Charles Bentley (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Field Team:

Beth Bergeron Terry Gacke    
Lou Albershardt Jay Kyne    
Mike Waszkiewics      

Season Overview:
Five ICDS drillers and three science personnel flew into WAIS Divide Camp on Friday, 16 December, 2005. The ICDS crew included: Beth (Bella) Bergeron, Louise (Lou) Albershardt, Mike Waszkiewics, Terry Gacke, and Jay Kyne. The science personnel were Todd Sowers, Murat Aydin and Mark Dreier. Mark Battle joined this crew about one week later. This putin was about three weeks after the first two ICDS drillers were originally scheduled to arrive, but did not due to flight delays during early camp putin.

The original schedule was that two ICDS drillers-Bella and Lou-were to put in with Ken Taylor and Mark Twickler and were to take a series of cores (30m, 100m) at or near the yet undisturbed site where the deep core would be taken. The timing was to place them there before the construction began of the steel structure that would house the deep drill the following season. According to this plan, Bella and Lou, after satisfying Ken's requirements, would also take core for Mary Albert (CRREL) and also provide her with a series of reamed 30m holes for her experimentation. In addition, before the arrival of the other three ICDS drillers and the Sowers group, they had hoped to prepare the site for the Sowers work.

As it turned out: Seeing the coring opportunity escaping them, Ken Taylor and Mark Twickler put in to WAIS Divide by Twin Otter aircraft and sampled a three-meter snowpit at the deep drilling site before the snow was disturbed by the construction crew. Plans were then made with Bella and Lou for ICDS to take the core at a later date, as then yet to be determined because of the limited number of higher priority flights that had made it there. In the end, Bella and Lou were delayed to being put in with the rest of the ICDS crew. Upon arrival, the 5 ICDS crew immediately began to help with the set up of the Sowers/Battle camp, which was about one kilometer from camp. Within two days from the ICDS crew putin, 30 meters of core had been taken with the 4-inch drill for Mary Albert, and the drill had been moved and again set up to begin the 300m core for Todd Sowers. At that point, the team of ICDS drillers and science personnel split into two shifts and began the transition to drilling night and day. The Eclipse drill was set up nearby to make two firn-air sampling holes for Mark Battle. The Eclipse drilling and air pumping were done nearly without any disruption to the progress of the 300m hole. The date of completion for the Sowers and Battle requirements was 31 December. In all, these tasks were accomplished with very few problems and very satisfactory results, especially with the 300m hole, given the brittle nature of the ice at a relatively shallow depth. ICDS had two experimental designs, to both of which can be attributed significantly improved core quality. Before their departure, the science group helped ICDS set up for core processing of the final ICDS task, which was a single core of 130m for Ken Taylor at the pit site. By this time, the steel drilling structure had been erected and was receiving the finishing details only a few feet away from the pit/core location. Three ICDS personnel-Lou, Bella and Jay-remained at WAIS Divide to drill and process the Taylor core and oversee its shipping. The departure of the last of the ICDS crew and the final ice shipment was on 12 January. No core was left at the WAIS Divide camp for winter storage.

-Jay Kyne, ICDS Drill Engineer, 8 February 2006.