End of Season Field Reports

2008-2009 Field Season

Ice Drilling Design and Operations (IDDO) group Activities at WAIS Divide 2008-2009 (T-350)
NSF-OPP supported
PI: Charles Bentley (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Field Team:

Jay Johnson Bill Mason Nicolai Mortensen Paul Sendelbach
Kristina Dahnert Tanner Kuhl Patrick Casidy Dave Ferris
Elizabeth Morton Bill Neumeister John Robinson

Field Season Overview:
IDDO operations at WAIS Divide this season began on December 3 with the arrival of Lead Driller Jay Johnson, Bill Mason, and John Robinson. Kristina Dahnert and Paul Sendelbach arrived on December 5 and 6, respectively. The WAIS Divide camp construction crew had the arch opened up and ready for the drill crew when they arrived, so they were able to get to work right away unpacking wintered-over gear, installing upgrades, and starting up equipment. On December 9 the second group of drillers (Patrick Casidy, Elisabeth Morton, Dave Ferris, Bill Neumeister, and Nicolai Mortensen) arrived. Tanner Kuhl arrived on December 18.

The first core was drilled on December 16 from a depth of 580.43 m. With only minor modifications to their drilling techniques the drillers were able successfully to make multiple core breaks and recover up to three core segments of predetermined lengths in one run. This allowed the core handlers to store the brittle ice in 1m trays and eliminated the need for it to be cut before packing and shipping next season. At 1318 m the ice was again ductile enough to saw so one-piece drilling was resumed. Drilling ended on January 22, one day ahead of schedule, with the core storage basement filled to capacity. The final bore hole depth was 1514.9 m. The DISC drill produced high quality core throughout the season.

Packing, which included unspooling of the winch cable (to be replaced by a longer, 3800 m, cable next season), and winterizing of the drill system was completed over the next three days. The entire crew left WAIS on January 26 after a safe and very successful season.