Drilling the new 5G-5 branch hole at Vostok Station for collecting a replicate core of old meteoric ice

A.V. Turkeev, N.I. Vasilev, V.Ya. Lipenkov, A.V. Bolshunov, A.A. Ekaykin, A.N. Dmitriev, D.A. Vasilev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that stratigraphically disturbed meteoric ice bedded at Vostok Station between 3318 and 3539 m dates back to 1.2 Ma BP and possibly beyond. As part of the VOICE (Vostok Oldest Ice Challenge) initiative, a new deviation from parent hole 5G-1 was made at depths of 3270–3291 m in the 2018/19 austral season with the aim of obtaining a replicate core of the old ice. Sidetracking was initiated using the standard KEMS-132 electromechanical drill routinely employed for deep ice coring at Vostok, without significant changes to its initial design. Here we describe the method and operating procedures for replicate coring at a targeted depth in an existing slant hole, involving the use of a cable-suspended electromechanical drill. The design of the milling cutter head used for sidetracking is presented. The performance characteristics and the experience of drilling branch-hole 5G-5 at Vostok are described and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
JournalAnnals of Glaciology
Early online date21 Apr 2021
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2021

Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes

Keywords

  • Ice drilling
  • old ice
  • paleoclimate
  • replicate ice coring
  • sidetracking

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