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Dennis at the melt tank awaiting a fresh push of snow

Dennis at the melt tank awaiting a fresh push of snow

Panoraminc view of camp (credit Chad Carpenter)

Panoraminc view of camp (credit Chad Carpenter)

Drill head

Drill head

Drill Wide

Thumbs down

Thumbs down

Melt tank over looking tent city

Melt tank over looking tent city

Main hose reel and control building

Main hose reel and control building


Melting a hole for the outhouse

Melting a hole for the outhouse

Pump Sleds and heaters

Pump Sleds and heaters

Daren and Graham digging

Daren and Graham digging


Science Tent City


The Shigloo



Birdman One and Birdman Two


Oil Fired Burners


Borehole Instrumentation Deployment




2014 sites


Heres a quick summary of what our field season looked like:


Flew from McMurdo to Cresis camp on a Herc.  Camped one night at Cresis in an Arctic Oven.


Traversed from Cresis to site 1A (about 18 miles) and setup camp


Drill setup, drilled hole 1A to 680 meters, packed drill to move to site 2


Moved to site 1B.  I had worked the night shift and went to bed sometime in the early morning hours.  When I woke up I was the only person left at camp so I packed my tent and hitched a ride on a snow mobile to the new site 1 km away.  We then drilled the second hole to 680 M.


Took a shower outside and we packed camp and the drill for the 12 hour traverse to site 2A (the third borehole)


Setup camp and drill, drilled third hole


Packed camp and drill and traversed to the fourth and final hole. Completed 4th hole.


Winterize drill


Basler flight back to McMurdo


Now Ill post some fun pictures because looking at pictures is way more fun  than reading.






Surprise! I’m back on the Ice

I’ve got a long story to tell so Ill try to make it short and just get to some fun pictures. I was originally planning on (as was the rest of the WISSARD project) an early winter deployment to the ice this year. As a result of the government shutdown the scope of this years work was significantly reduced as well as the required personel. Instead of going to the grounding zone with the big WISSARD drill this year it was decided to deploy a small crew and use the mobile drill developed at UNL to drill 2 sites 50-100 miles from Lake Whillans and deply geophysics instrumentation in Ice Stream B.

I was originally not going to deploy but Dar Gibson (hot water driller) was unfortunately injured and flown back to New Zealand. I was asked to come down and replace him for the field season and was very fortunate to be in a position to do so (with many thanks to my employer, Davis Tool, Inc.).

Im currently in McMurdo and am scheduled to go out to the field camp 1/13. In the meantime, Ill be posting pics about the trip south and try to touch on what it is that we are doing this year and some of the technology that is part of this years field season. Pictures from the field won’t be posted until Im back in Mactown because we have limited communications from the field. In the meantime, as secondary resources to this blog, there are two sites that are regularly posting a lot a good information and updates on this years field season:

Last years work at Lake Whillans was a huge success and we plan on delivering this season as well. Discovery magazine ranked the Wissard project as the #12 out 100 top science stories of 2013.

We will be flying out to the same location as last years WISSARD camp on a C-130 and snowmobiling out to this years field camps from there.

More details and pictures to follow. I’m off to a cold weather survival training refresher and to help out with some instrumentation mods for the afternoon.

Fox Blews

I came across this article and was hesitant to read it (considering the source) and just wanted to point out a couple things that may not be accurate.  Actually they just aren’t.  Most of the science and logistical information is relatively true.  I wanted to make it clear that this is not a war, this is not a race, there is no competition here.  Its just science.  There are no winners and there are no losers.  We are all in this together, the British, Americans and Russians.  We are friendly with both of the other crews attempting to access Antarctic sub glacial lakes and supportive of their successes and failures.

Shame on you Fox.  If you were a dog, you’d be in your crate.

Just Kidding….Still Here


Yesterday’s weather decided not to let us fly.  Instead we had a snow day.  We are scheduled for a Monday morning flight on an LC 130.  Hope for the best.  I guess I shouldn’t have thrown out my soap.









WISSARD featured in NY Times

Article, in the Nebraska Engineering newsletter about WISSARD

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