Working in the ice mines – University of Copenhagen

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EastGrip - The East Greenland Ice-core Project > Field Diaries Folder > UK diaries 2016 > Working in the ice mines

21 May 2016

Working in the ice mines

Saturday 21st of May 2016

Hans Christian is hauling snow from the tunnel to the open excavation.

From early morning until Noon, almost all hands were on deck to cut, dig and haul snow and snow blocks out from the ice core buffer and the science trench and through the tunnels dump the loads in front of the Pistenbully in the open drill trench. It was hard work, and people worked up a sweat. However, you couldn’t stand still for a long time, as it is very cold inside the trenches.

Later, we had the somewhat easier task to pull the balloons into position. It was a much more pleasant task, and the wind died and it became quite comfortable in the Sun.

This time, three balloons in the open trenches are needed, and the two tunnel balloons will be re-inflated in the tunnels to provide a seal against the new load of snow.

In total, we will have five balloons active this time, but only one new balloon is introduced, a 40 m long and 2.5 m diameter sausage that will turn into an access ramp to the drill trench.

After 17.00 we stopped for Saturday evening, where Christian made us a very nice Thai inspired supper.

What we have done today:

1.    Removing excess snow from buffer and science trench by hand.
2.    Pushing snow away and polishing excavations.
3.    Installing balloons in trenches and pump station in science trench.
4.    Excavating snow by hand from tunnels and trenches.
5.    Finishing floor/lid for staircase shaft.
6.    German snow sampling and laser snow sensor work.

Ad.3: The hoses are very stiff in the cold of the trench. It has been impossible to coil them. They are lying in a chaotic pattern over half of the science trench floor.

Weather today: Clear all day.  Temp. –13 °C to -23 °C, Wind 15 kt from SW to calm. Visibility: To horizon. Beautiful day.

FL, J.P. Steffensen

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