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An intermediate-depth (1751 m) ice core was drilled at the South Pole between 2014 and 2016 using the newly designed US Intermediate Depth Drill. The South Pole ice core is the highest-resolution interior East Antarctic ice core record that extends into the glacial period. The methods used at the South Pole to handle and log the drilled ice, the procedures used to safely retrograde the ice back to the National Science Foundation Ice Core Facility (NSF-ICF), and the methods used to process and sample the ice at the NSF-ICF are described. The South Pole ice core exhibited minimal brittle ice, which was likely due to site characteristics and, to a lesser extent, to drill technology and core handling procedures.
Over the course of the 2014/15 and 2015/16 austral summer seasons, the South Pole Ice Core project recovered a 1751 m deep ice core at the South Pole. This core provided a high-resolution record of paleoclimate conditions in East Antarctica during the Holocene and late Pleistocene. The drilling and core processing were completed using the new US Intermediate Depth Drill system, which was designed and built by the US Ice Drilling Program at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In this paper, we present and discuss the setup, operation, and performance of the drill system.
On 1 December 2011 the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide ice-core project reached its final depth of 3405 m. The WAIS Divide ice core is not only the longest US ice core to date, but is also the highest-quality deep ice core, including ice from the brittle ice zone, that the US has ever recovered. The methods used at WAIS Divide to handle and log the drilled ice, the procedures used to safely retrograde the ice back to the US National Ice Core Laboratory (NICL) and the methods used to process and sample the ice at the NICL are described and discussed.
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