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Intermediate-depth ice coring of high-altitude and polar glaciers with a lightweight drilling system

Abstract : A total of 11 ice cores to a maximum depth of 460 m have been obtained over the past 3 years from high-altitude glaciers on the saddle of Mount Bona and Mount Churchill in Alaska (designated B-C), and on Quelccaya ice cap and Nevado Coropuna in Peru. Ice coring was conducted using an intermediate-depth drilling system. The system includes an electromechanical drill (EMD) and an ethanol thermal electric drill (ETED). The EMD permitted an average ice-core production rate (ICPR) of 7.0 m h−1 down to 150 m. An average ICPR of 2 m h−1 to 460 m depth was possible with the ETED. The quality of the B-C ice cores is better than that of cores previously drilled with an EMD and ETED system. A new cutter design, drilling with a lubricant/cutting fluid and a new anti-torque assembly were tested in the laboratory and in glacier boreholes. We examine the performance of the drills in cold and temperate ice and in clean and particle-laden ice. The influence of the ethanol drilling fluid on ice-core isotopic, ionic and dust composition is discussed.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 14, 2009 - 10:23:32 AM
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V. Zagorodnov, L.G. Thompson, P. Ginot, V. Mikhalenko. Intermediate-depth ice coring of high-altitude and polar glaciers with a lightweight drilling system. Journal of Glaciology, International Glaciological Society, 2005, 51 (174), pp.491 à 501. ⟨10.3189/172756505781829269⟩. ⟨insu-00375203⟩

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