June 14, 2019

A drill stuck in the borehole

Maggan, Lydia and Sarah enjoying a sunny moment at the coach outside main Dome

At around midnight Thursday to Friday a last core of the day was drilled. This time, however, a hard core break caused the cable to detach from the drill leaving the entire drill at the bottom of the borehole! Thus, as the end of the cable came to surface, there was no drill attached to it. It is unclear exactly how this could occur and, to our knowledge, it is the first time it happens. The ‘good news’ is that the cable is intact, with no kinks or other damages. After a night’s sleep and consultation with experienced staff back in Copenhagen, procedures were set in place to recover the drill. An anti-torque section (top section of the drill) from another drill was brought to the Dome and different types of hooks were tested for their ability to catch the drill. The drill has an attachment at the top, exactly for this purpose. An appropriate ‘fishing’ hook has now been made ready.
Tomorrow, it will be tension tested in the drill trench before being sent into the hole with some weight attached to it. Despite the somewhat critical situation, the spirit is good and we are optimistic about the recovery of the drill.

What we did today:

  1. Working on methods to recover the drill.
  2. No ice core logging today.
  3. Station for atmospheric moisture sampling and isotopic measurement is active.
  4. The isotope CFA laboratory bag 3126 to bag 3149 (length 12.65 m).
  5. MAGPIE reshuffled two stations W and N of camp 50 km out.
  6. Securing the top of the staircase to the trenches.
  7. New outhouses are being laid out in preparation for next week.

EGRIP population is 24. EGRIP average age is 37 years.

Weather: Clear blue sky most of the day with thin high overcast occurring in the evening. We are back to more normal temperatures for the season, although it is still quite warm. Temp. -8°C to -5°C. Wind: 3 kt to 14 kt from W and SW.

FL, Anders Svensson