Field and CPL Updates

2011-2012 Antarctica

January 17, 2012
Update provided by Kendrick Taylor
project update image
Logan Mitchell, John Fegyveresi and Gifford Wong celebrate the completion of the WAIS Divide ice core. Photo: Logan Mitchell

This week the borehole logging teams left WAIS Divide and headed home. Gary Clow has remained on site to make sure the deviation drilling will not interfere with future borehole logging efforts. This will involve lowering borehole instruments into the hole while the deviation is only 1/3 and 2/3 complete, to make sure the instruments do not hang up on the cut into the side of the borehole that starts the deviation. If the instruments do hang up on the deviation, IDDO will use the drill to smooth out the deviation so logging instruments can pass.

The bottommost ice that was recovered this season was sent to MCM. There were many delays and logistics issues associated with the mission, but it all worked out fine in the end.

Deviation drilling has started. As expected with any new equipment and procedure, there have been many technical issues to work through. None of the issues have been major and the project is progressing as expected. IDDO has confirmed they can locate the "high" side of the borehole wall and that they can cut into it. These are significant first steps.

Several additional safety drills were conducted at WAIS Divide to prepare the camp for dealing with an injured or lost person. These drills are critical to assure the Camp, IDDO and SCO staff will all work together in a coordinated and effective way during an emergency. The drills take time, but we learn a lot and make great improvements in our preparedness as a result of them.

Preparations are being made for closing the camp for the season. Cargo is being sorted and staged, berms built, and people are thinking of warmer places.

So in summary, everything is going great. The detailed situation reports are below.