A new percussion hammer mechanism for a borehole deployable subglacial sediment corer
Subglacial sediments have the potential to reveal information about the controls on glacier flow, changes in ice-sheet history and characterise life in those environments. Retrieving sediments from beneath the ice, through hot water drilled access holes at remote field locations, present many challenges. Motivated by the need to minimise weight, corer diameter and simplify assembly and operation, British Antarctic Survey, in collaboration with UWITEC, developed a simple mechanical percussion corer. At depths over 1000 m however, manual operation of the percussion hammer is compromised by the lack of clear operator feedback at the surface. To address this, we present a new auto-release-recovery percussion hammer mechanism that makes coring operations depth independent and improves hammer efficiency. Using a single rope tether for both the corer and hammer operation, this modified percussion corer is relatively simple to operate, easy to maintain, and has successfully operated at a depth of >2130 m.
Authors: Makinson, Keith ORCID record for Keith Makinson, Ashurst, Daniel, Anker, Paul G.D. ORCID record for Paul G.D. Anker, Smith, James A. ORCID record for James A. Smith, Hodgson, Dominic ORCID record for Dominic Hodgson, Davis, Peter E.D. ORCID record for Peter E.D. Davis, Smith, Andrew M. ORCID record for Andrew M. Smith