Field and CPL Updates

2008-2009 Antarctica

December 29, 2008
Update provided by Dr. Kendrick Taylor
project update image
Science technicians working inside the core handling arch at WAIS Divide. Photo: Chad Naughton/ NSF

We are now at 811 meters depth. Typically we collect and process 35 meters of ice per day, which is more then we anticipated. As expected, the ice is getting brittle and core quality is declining. There are now several fractures per meter, with many long diagonal fractures that will make it difficult to process the ice with standard melters. Fortunately, the netting is doing a great job holding the ice together. Most of the fractures are tight fitting and do not adversely affect the electrical measurements, which are showing a strong annual signal.

We had a good Christmas with a day off, a nice dinner, gift exchange, dancing and sledding. The Tucker Sno-Cat, which is used for snow grooming and as a light duty forklift, has many cracks in the frame and has to be sent out for a major repair. We have had many fantastically calm and clear days, which is a different and more appreciated weather pattern than last year.