Rapid Access Ice Drill: a new tool for exploration of the deep Antarctic ice sheets and subglacial geology

TitleRapid Access Ice Drill: a new tool for exploration of the deep Antarctic ice sheets and subglacial geology
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsGoodge J.W, Severinghaus JP
JournalJournal of Glaciology
Volume62
Pagination1049-1064
Date Published2016/11
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0022-1430
Accession NumberWOS:000389173500006
Keywordsantarctica; bedrock coring; climate; core; evolution; flow; ice drilling; million year-old ice; old ice; subglacial access
Abstract

A new Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) will penetrate the Antarctic ice sheets in order to create borehole observatories and take cores in deep ice, the glacial bed and bedrock below. RAID is a mobile drilling system to make multiple long, narrow boreholes in a single field season in Antarctica. RAID is based on a mineral exploration-type rotary rock-coring system using threaded drill pipe to cut through ice using reverse circulation of a non-freezing fluid for pressure-compensation, maintenance of temperature and removal of ice cuttings. Near the bottom of the ice sheet, a wireline latching assembly will enable rapid coring of ice, the glacial bed and bedrock below. Once complete, boreholes will be kept open with fluid, capped and available for future down-hole measurement of temperature gradient, heat flow, ice chronology and ice deformation. RAID is designed to penetrate up to 3300 m of ice and take cores in <200 hours, allowing completion of a borehole and coring in similar to 10 d at each site. Together, the rapid drilling capability and mobility of the system, along with ice-penetrating imaging methods, will provide a unique 3-D picture of interior and subglacial features of the Antarctic ice sheets.

DOI10.1017/jog.2016.97
Short TitleJ. Glaciol.
Student Publication: 
No