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Drilling the Sea Ice

MCMURDO STATION, ANTARCTICA– Drilling a hole through 7 m (21 ft) of sea ice is the first step in Antarctic diving. Check out the video below to see how it’s done.

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9 Responses »

  1. Holy Cow!!! The kids are going to love this video! And what a gorgeous looking day! Be joining you soon!


  2. Wow that is a lot of hard work!!

  3. Is that a solar-powered drill? Or is there a giant windmill just out of shot?

  4. Hey Stacy your blog is looking great! Lots of good info. I hope to get mine up and running here in a bit. Just got to McMurdo and should be rolling along here to the Pole in a bit. Good Luck with the season!


  5. Tom–
    Dr. Peter Jeschofnig forwarded this video to me. Glad to see that Colorado Mountain College graduates are still out there exploring the far reaches of the world!

  6. Hi Pops,
    Unfortunately, the drill is powered by the old standby, hydrocarbons in the form of diesel fuel. The pole extending upwards is the height of the drill string – it can go to 24 feet deep. It is an amazing contraption. There is a solar expert here who is working to get more field equipment running on solar, and the New Zealanders at Scott Base a few kms away have started an ambitious wind turbine project that may set the stage for McMurdo to follow their good example.
    Best, Stacy

  7. Hi Nick,
    I must have missed you as we left for field camp a couple days after you posted. I hope things are going well at Pole and that you are ready for your looong stint!
    Best, Stacy

  8. hey stacy,your blog is looking great,i was just wandering if that drill bit is telescopic or if it is not., thanks!

  9. Hi Lucas,
    The drill comes in sections, each 1 m long. As we reach the end of each section, we stop the drill, remove the head, attach a new section, and then reattach the head and keep drilling. It gets heavier and heavier the deeper we drill.
    Best, Stacy