Field and CPL Updates

2005-2006 Antarctica

February 17, 2006
Update provided by Science Coordination Office
project update image
WAIS Divide 2005-2006 camp staff. Photo: Dave Zastrow

Hello all,

We had a great first season at WAIS Divide. The put in was three weeks behind schedule due to weather and issues related to landing the LC-130s at a new location. However, thanks to excellent support by RPSC, all the objectives for the season were met. The completed tasks are listed below.

The basic infrastructure for a 50+ person camp was installed. The 180 ft long steel arch building that will shelter the drilling and core handling areas was installed.

Todd Sowers et al. conducted firn air sampling and collected 300 m of core for gas work.

Prasad Gogineni et al. used an advanced surface radar system to map the deep ice and basal conditions around the drill site.

Kenichi (Kenny) Matsuoka et al. used polarized radar to investigate how the ice crystal fabric changes with depth and location. This will improve our ability to model the ice flow around the drill site.

Taylor and Twickler collected snow pit samples from the drill site prior to disturbance by the construction crew, and thanks to extra help from ICDS, recovered a 130 m core for community use.

Back in Wisconsin, ICDS has an impressive engineering staff that is finishing up the new deep drill. It is shaping up to be a fantastic drill that should produce high quality core faster and with less field staff then anything we have previously had. The electronics are behind schedule, but they should be ready for the field test in Greenland this summer.

Due to a budget shortfall related to a change in the way NSF receives funding for ice breaker support NSF-OPP reduced many planned expenditures. This has forced a half season delay for the WAIS Divide Project.

We hope the rest of the field seasons go as well as this one!

-Ken, Mark and Joe
WAIS Divide Science Coordination Office