Understanding the contribution that polar ice sheets make to global sea-level rise is recognised internationally as urgent. The mission of this five-year project is to capture new observations and data …
Hot water drilling
- Lat. 0°0'0"N, Long. 0°0'0"E
Scientists use hot water drilling technology to drill through floating ice shelves (up to 750 metres of ice) to gain access to the ocean below.
A variety of instruments can be lowered into the hole to capture a wide range of data. These include:
- Sub-ice shelf moorings to capture oceanographic measurements
- Water samples taken at discrete heights in the water column (while the hole is open/unfrozen)
- Sediment cores from the ocean floor are planned to be recovered
A hot water drill can pump 90l of water per minute at around 90 °C . The drill itself uses petrol-fuelled generators, and the water-heaters are powered by aviation fuel. The resultant 0.5 MW of heating power makes a 30 cm diameter access hole through the ice.