Ice core drill used by the British Antarctic Survey, 1985

Ice core drill used by the British Antarctic Survey, 1985 (ice core drill)

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© 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.

Details

Category:
Meteorology
Object Number:
1998-192
Materials:
glass-reinforced plastic, aluminium, steel
type:
ice core drill
credit:
Donated by British Antarctic Survey

Parts

Ice corer, used by the British Antarctic Survey, 1985

Ice corer, used by the British Antarctic Survey, 1985

Drill head for ice corer drill, unsigned, British, 1985. Used by the British Antarctic Survey, for drilling 10-Meter cores, for research into past climates.

More

This shallow hand drill was used by British Antarctic Survey to dril to depths of around 10 m in ice core investigations in Anterctica. A drill with a longer barrel (2.2 m) was used to go deeper, down to about 25 m. Such drills have been used routinely by a number of nations working in Antarctica, the Arctic and other polar regions. This particular head was first used at Dolleman Island on the Antarctic Peninsula in 1985 and then on the Dyer Plateau (again the Peninsula) by British Antarctic Survey workers, including Dr Robert Mulvaney. This drill was replaced by an upgraded model which looked similar, but the aluminium head had "core-catchers" which made the drill work better. Note, 10 m is a significant glaciological depth. The temperature measured at 10 m is generally reported as equivalent to the mean annual temperature of a location. Glaciologists have been drilling to 10 m for decades to measure temperatures to produce spatial maps of mean annual temperature in areas where there are no automatic year-round weather stations.

Measurements:
overall: 1150 mm 110 mm, 2.565kg
Materials:
plastic (unidentified) , aluminium (metal) and steel (metal)
Object Number:
1998-192 Pt1
type:
corer and drill - tool
Image ©
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Drill shaft extension piece with connector for attachment of drill head

Drill shaft extension piece with connector for attachment of drill head

Drill shaft extension piece with connector for attachment of drill head of an ice core drill used in research into past climates, 1985

Measurements:
overall: 47.6378 x 4.3307 in.; 121 x 11 cm
Materials:
glass-reinforced plastic, aluminium, steel
Object Number:
1998-192 Pt2
type:
ice core drill
Image ©
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Drill shaft extension piece from ice core dril

Drill shaft extension piece from ice core dril

Drill shaft extension piece of an ice core drill used in research into past climates, 1985

Measurements:
overall: 43.7008 x 3.5433 in.; 111 x 9 cm
Materials:
glass-reinforced plastic
Object Number:
1998-192 Pt3
type:
ice core drill
Image ©
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Connector to handle of ice core drill

Connector to handle of ice core drill

T-shaped piece to hold handle of an ice core drill used in research into past climates, 1985

Measurements:
overall: 16.9291 x 7.874 x 3.5433 in.; 43 x 20 x 9 cm
Materials:
glass-reinforced plastic, steel
Object Number:
1998-192 Pt4
type:
ice core drill
Image ©
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum
Handle of an ice core drill used in research into past climates

Handle of an ice core drill used in research into past climates

Handle of an ice core drill used in research into past climates, 1985

Measurements:
overall: 31.4961 x 2.3622 in.; 80 x 6 cm
Materials:
glass-reinforced plastic
Object Number:
1998-192 Pt5
type:
ice core drill
Image ©
The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum