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27.11.18 — category: Press
 Drive On the Rocks

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Uhing rolling ring drive makes it to Antarctic

On a plain shaft in the icy cold. The international research project BEAMISH explores the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the motion of the fast ice streams that drain it. This requires measurements at the ice surface but also drilling into the Rutford Ice Stream. The ice of Rutford Ice Stream is well over 2000 m thick and drilling right through it is a huge challenge.

A specially built large hot-water drill which will take up to 2 days to melt down to the bed is used for this purpose. The largest parts, weighing up to 7 tonnes, are sitting on the ice. The gigantic special drill operating on the ice must run smoothly at temperatures of -30°C and withstand snow drifting and other adverse climatic conditions to ensure the polar scientists can do their job well. The Antarctic and Greenland could cause an irreversible rise of the sea level for many centuries to come. For this reason, current results of precise measurements are of vital importance for science.

Entire article: Drive On the Rocks

 

Pictures: Paul Anker / British Antarctic Survey

 


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