Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: IDDO Greenland test of the Rapid Air Movement (RAM) drill (Award# IDDO-RAM)

PI: Albert, Mary Remley (
Phone: (603) 646.0277 
Institute/Department: Dartmouth College, Thayer School of Engineering 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ANT
Program Manager: Dr. Jennifer Mercer (
Discipline(s): | Geological Sciences\Glaciology | Instrument Development |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
This project contributes to the joint initiative launched by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) to substantially improve decadal and longer-term projections of ice loss and sea-level rise originating from Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. The researchers will use precision GPS, seismic, and radar instrumentation to collect new data on the current behavior and future evolution of the side margins of Thwaites Glacier. These new data will help improve computer models used to predict the future contribution of the West Antarctic ice sheet to global sea level changes. A new RAM drill was developed to replace an older RAM drill utilizing input from the research community. It uses high velocity air drives to rotate cutters and blows the firn directly out of the borehole, so no cores are recovered. The purpose of the drill is to create multiple boreholes quickly, that are large enough to deploy seismic instruments in an array. The new drill will be lighter and more easily transported. The drill is planned to be tested in Greenland at Raven Camp, a site that has similar characteristics to the snow conditions expected at Thwaites, so the concept can be proven in the field and modifications can be incorporated, if necessary, prior to deploying to Antarctica in late 2018 for use during the 2019/2020 Antarctic field season.

Logistics Summary:
Under this project, IDPO-IDDO will test their Rapid Air Movement (RAM) drill in Greenland in July 2018 prior to deploying it to Antarctica in support of the joint US-NERC Thwaites Program. For the test, a site within the dry snow zone of the ice sheet where there is a firn layer that is many tens of meters thick and dry snow/firn conditions are necessary. IDDO will deploy two drillers to Raven Camp, Greenland for approximately two weeks in July to test the drill.

CPS will provide ANG support (cargo and pax), lodging in Kangerlussuaq at the KISS facility, fuel (for drill and snowmachines), camp & safety gear, communications equipment, use of snowmachines and Twin Otter support. IDDO will provide the drillers and drill for testing as well as food and ECW gear for the two IDDO participants. Arrangements for logistics reimbursement are being handled internally at OPP between the Antarctic and Arctic programs.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2018Greenland - Kangerlussuaq07 / 17 / 2018 08 / 02 / 20182
2018Greenland - Raven07 / 20 / 2018 07 / 31 / 20182

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