Ice drilling allows scientists studying glaciers and ice sheets to gain access to what is beneath the ice. Instruments can be placed in the drilled holes to record temperature, pressure, speed, direction of movement, and for other scientific research, such as neutrino detection. Data from ice cores can be used to determine past variations in solar activity, and is important in the construction of marine isotopes.
About Ice drilling in brief
Ice drilling allows scientists studying glaciers and ice sheets to gain access to what is beneath the ice. Instruments can be placed in the drilled holes to record temperature, pressure, speed, direction of movement, and for other scientific research, such as neutrino detection. Many different methods have been used since 1840, when the first scientific ice drilling expedition attempted to drill through the Unteraargletscher in the Alps. In 1966, a US team successfully drilled through the Greenland ice sheet at Camp Century, at a depth of 1,387 metres. Since then many other groups have succeeded in reaching bedrock through the two largest ice sheets, in Greenland and Antarctica. Data from ice cores can be used to determine past variations in solar activity, and is important in the construction of marine isotopes, one of the key tools in palaeoclimatological research. Ice cores are useful for environmental and environmental studies, reconstructing past climates, and reconstructing ice core composition, mechanical analysis, dissolved impurities and dust trapped, atmospheric samples, radionides and trace radium. These can be investigated by drilling environments that were isolated from the rest of the biosphere, potentially for millions of years. The discovery of layers of aqueous water and of several hundred mapped subglacial lakes, beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, led to speculation about the existence of unique microbial environments that had been isolated from rest of biosphere.
These are one of many reasons why ice cores are important in ice.ICS maintains a list of key goals for ice core research, including glacier flow and accumulation rates, and ice core dating. For more information about IPICS, visit the IPICS website or go to: www.ipics.org.uk/ice-coring-and-ice-core-research-key-goal-for-icing-cores-and IPICS-ICS-ICS-ICC-ICS.ICS-IceCube, a large astrophysical project, required numerous optical sensors to be place in holes 2. 5 km deep, drilled at the South Pole. IceCube is one of a number of projects that have focused on finding drilling locations that will give scientists access to very old undisturbed ice at the bottom of the borehole, since a stratigraphic sequence is required to accurately date the information obtained from the ice cores. It is hoped that by 2015, drilling locations will be found that will allow scientists to retrieve ice cores from deep holes in the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets. The IceCube project is expected to be completed by the end of next year, and will be the first of its kind in the world. It will be followed by the IceCube 2.5km deep project, which will be completed in 2018, and IceCube 1,000km deep in 2022, in the Arctic, and in 2023 in the Pacific, and 2028 in the Indian Ocean. The South Pole project is being funded by the US Department of Energy and the Canadian National Research Council.