Field and CPL Updates

2011 Core Processing Line

June 24, 2011
Update provided by Peter Neff
project update image
Pauline Roberts measuring the electrical properties of a 1-meter long section of the ice core. Photo: Peter Neff

We had a productive third week on the CPL. With no major problems the first half of the week we managed two days processing more than 30 meters of ice! We ended the week at a depth of 2393 meters, bringing our total to 439 meters processed thus far.

Major volcanic activity, judging from field notes, begins in the ice next week at a depth of about 2400 meters. This corresponds to approximately 17,000 years before present.

Our one exciting day for the week was Thursday, where we had an impromptu three-hour lunch due to a potential Freon leak in the freezer. Small leaks are common in large freezer units like we have at NICL, but with 20 people working inside we took no chances when several people inside reported dizziness and/or headaches. In the end, the freezer technician told us there was no sign of any leakage, and also suggested that we stop complaining and get back to work.

During our emergency lunch Thursday, Todd Sowers (PSU) shared some insights about how the Consortia at the NEEM camp in Greenland processes their cores on-site. Jeremy Polk (NSF) was also present, and shared a rough draft of one of his outreach videos that will be distributed later this year through the NSF's Science360 News and other outlets.

We still dream of a week without any slowdowns, but things are on track for completion of all 3330 meters. Though we prioritize personal safety and sample quality, all of us are determined to get to the bottom of the core and see how old it is!

Thanks for all of the input this season, from visiting PIs and those advising remotely.

Happy Summer!

Peter Neff
WAIS Divide SCO Representative, 2011 CPL