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Special aspects of ice drilling and results of 5G hole drilling at Vostok station, Antarctica

  • V.S. Litvinenko (a1), N.I. Vasiliev (a1), V.Ya. Lipenkov (a2), A.N. Dmitriev (a1) and A.V. Podoliak (a1)...

Abstract

This paper documents the drilling of the 5G deep hole at the Russian Vostok station, Antarctica. The hole construction is described and the specifications of the drill and surface drilling equipment are given. The peculiarities of drilling at various depths are considered. Based on the extensive experimental data collected at Vostok station, the processes occurring at the hole bottom are investigated: ice breaking and cutting, bottom cleaning and chip transport, and accumulation of the chips in the screen. The main factors affecting ice-drilling efficiency are the coarseness of ice crystals and the ice temperature. When ice crystal size exceeds 10 mm the cutting efficiency sharply decreases, and when ice temperature exceeds –5°C the chip transport from the hole bottom and the chip density in the screen are reduced. The drill advance then becomes irregular, slows down and may even be terminated in some cases. Optimal values of the basic drilling parameters (e.g. cutter head rotation rate and drilling fluid flow rate in the circulation system) have been deduced empirically. The designs of the cutter head and circulation system including screens have been significantly modified, allowing the drilling process to proceed at a normal rate even in the vicinity of the subglacial lake surface.

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References

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Augustin, L and 6 others (2007a) Drilling comparison in ‘warm ice’ and drill design comparison. Ann. Glaciol., 47, 7378 (doi: 10.3189/172756407786857820)
Augustin, L, Panichi, S and Frascati, F (2007b) EPICA Dome C 2 drilling operations: performances, difficulties, results. Ann. Glaciol., 47, 6872 (doi: 10.3189/172756407786857767)
Kudryashov, BB, Chistyakov, KV and Morev, VA (1983) Burenie lednikovogo pokrova Antarktidy teplovym sposobom [Thermal drilling in Antarctic ice sheet]. In 25 let Sovetskoi Antarkticheskoi Ekspeditsii [25th Anniversary of the Soviet Antarctic Expedition]. Gidrometeoizdat, Leningrad, 149158
Kudryashov, BB, Chistyakov, VK and Litvinenko, VS (1991) Burenie skvazhin v usloviah izmenenia agregatnogo sostoyanya gornikh porod [Drilling in conditions of rock aggregate changes]. Nedra, Leningrad
Kudryashov, BB and 9 others (2002) Deep ice coring at Vostok Station (East Antarctica) by an electromechanical drill. Mem. Natl Inst. Polar Res., Special Issue 56, 91102
Lipenkov, VY, Poliyakova, EV, Duval, P and Preobrazhenskaya, AV (2007) Osobennosti stroeniya antarkticheskogo lednikovogo pokrova v rayone stantsii Vostok po resultatam petrostrukturnikh issledovaniy ledianogo kerna [Internal structure of the Antarctic ice sheet in the vicinity of Vostok Station from the deep ice core thin sections studies]. Probl. Arkt. Antarkt., 76, 6877
Vasiliev, NI (2002) Some features of ice drilling technology by a drill on a hoisting cable. Mem. Natl Inst. Polar Res., Special Issue 56, 136141
Vasiliev, NI and 8 others (2007) Deep drilling at Vostok Station, Antarctica: history and recent events. Ann. Glaciol., 47, 1023 (doi: 10.3189/172756407786857776)

Keywords

Special aspects of ice drilling and results of 5G hole drilling at Vostok station, Antarctica

  • V.S. Litvinenko (a1), N.I. Vasiliev (a1), V.Ya. Lipenkov (a2), A.N. Dmitriev (a1) and A.V. Podoliak (a1)...

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