Category Archives: Drilling

Smithsonian Article and TED X

TED X Bozeman


Its been a while since I last posted anything so I figured I should wrap things up here over the next few days.  The last post was right before we flew out into the field so that’s where Ill start off.

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This is a shot inside the Herc.  We flew in with a bunch of cargo and snowmobiles.

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Picture from the cockpit of the Herc

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When the Hercs off load cargo they sometimes do a combat offload.  After the plane lands and is taxing on the runway,  the cargo is literally rolled out the back of the plane as it moves down the runway.  This procedure is used by the military in combat situations to keep the amount of time on the ground as short as possible.  In Antarctica, its just easiest to off load cargo this way since the planes have the capability to do so.

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After we got off the plane, we were met by the traverse tractors for a ride to the field camp.



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This is the door to my favorite outhouse ever.


This is the rac tent where we would hang out and eat when off shift.



DC-3 Landing next to camp to deliver personel and cargo


Tent City





This is a picture of the first time we inspected the borehole with the camera in the picture above.



IMG_1275Picture of the computer screen as we discovered that we finally penetrated the lake


Antarctic outdoor shower


Laundry in a bucket








Sipping on Lake Whillans Water before flew out.



Back to McMurdo


Im out….hopefully

As long as weather and logistics hold for tomorrow morning Im scheduled to fly out to Lake Whillans.  I wont be able to post anything until Im back in McMurdo around Feb 5th.  The Facebook, science roadshow blog and page will be a good way to track our progress so stay in tune with those for current information as things progress in the field.  Thanks for following and Ill post pics when Im back.


Maps and Randoms

Ice Thickness Map

co Ice Thickness Map


RossIsland_RADARI pulled most of the pics in this post from the common drive availabe to everybody at McMurdo.  There are some pretty neat maps in there.  Here is a small sampling.

US vs. Antarctica

US vs. Antarctica

USAP Stations

USAP Stations


Becon Valley


McMurdo Aerial

McMurdo Aerial

Ice Stock 2012 167


Tall Penguin

Tall Penguin



c 17


2006 Sout Pole Traverse Map

2006 Sout Pole Traverse Map


National Geographic Article

Here is an article about the drilling going on this season including our project.  Its really not a race though.

The Job Site

McMurdo Station is not actually on the Antarctic Continent but at the tip of Hut Point, Ross Island.  Our drill camp is located  on the sea ice Southwest of Mcmurdo on the road to the ice runways.  The specific location that we are at is called SPOTSA (South Pole Traverse Staging Area).  We will be building there for the next couple months until we move camp to Windless Bight for testing and eventually traversing to Lake Willan later in the season.

Here is a view from the edge of drill camp looking back towards McMurdo.  The ice road is out of sight to the left of the view.

Here is another shot of drill camp toward Ross Island.  The building with blue sides is our mechanical building, aka the MEC.  Inside we have some workspace, an arc welder, mini lathe and a milling machine.  I cant imagine a better place to machine parts than this.  This is the best office I’ve ever had.

Looking Southwest to the ice runway from drill camp.  There is a C 17 in the background that landed on a routine cargo run.

On a clear day the mountains are visible across the sound.

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