Non-contact measurement system for hot water drilled ice boreholes

A programmable borehole measurement system was deployed in hot water drilled ice holes during the ‘Bed Access and Monitoring of Ice Sheet History’ (BEAMISH) project to drill to the bed of the Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica. This system operates autonomously (no live data) after deployment, and records borehole diameter (non-contact measurement), water column pressure, heading and inclination. Three cameras, two sideways looking and one vertical, are also included for visual inspection of hole integrity and sediments. The system is small, lightweight (~35.5 kg) and low power using only 6 ‘D’ cell sized lithium batteries, making it ideal for transport and use in remote field sites. The system is 2.81 m long and 165 mm in diameter, and can be deployed attached to the drill hose for measurements during drilling or on its own deployment line afterwards. The full system is discussed in detail, highlighting design strengths and weaknesses. Data from the BEAMISH project are also presented in the form of camera images showing hole integrity, and sensor data used to calculate borehole diameter through the full length of the hole. These data are used to show confidence in hole verticality and subsurface cavity development and connection.


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Authors: McAfee, Carson W.I. ORCIDORCID record for Carson W.I. McAfee, Rix, Julius ORCIDORCID record for Julius Rix, Quirk, Sean J. ORCIDORCID record for Sean J. Quirk, Anker, Paul G.D. ORCIDORCID record for Paul G.D. Anker, Brisbourne, Alex M. ORCIDORCID record for Alex M. Brisbourne, Makinson, Keith ORCIDORCID record for Keith Makinson

On this site: Alex Brisbourne, Carson McAfee, Julius Rix, Keith Makinson, Paul Anker, Sean Quirk
1 September, 2021
Annals of Glaciology / 62
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