Ice core drill used by the British Antarctic Survey, 1985

1985 in Nebraska
Polar Ice Core Office

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Drill head for ice core drill used in research into past climates, 1985. Front three quarter view of angled drill.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Shallow hand drill used by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) to drill for ice cores in 1985. This head was used at Dolleman Island and later on the Dyer Plateau, both on the Antarctic Peninsula, by Robert Mulvaney and BAS colleagues.

Ice cores are rich in information used by scientists to study Earth’s present and past climate. Tiny air bubbles trapped in the ice provide glimpses of past atmospheric conditions; cores also yield information about average temperatures. This drill could sample cores to depths of about 10 metres—a significant depth since this was generally reported as equivalent to the mean annual temperature of a location. These data was used to build spatial maps of mean annual temperature in locations without automatic year-round weather stations. This drill was used in conjunction with another with a longer barrel that could reach depths of about 25 metres.


Object Number:
ice core drill
Donated by British Antarctic Survey

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