2015-2016 Science Planning Summaries
United States Antarctic Program United States Antarctic Program Logo National Science Foundation Logo
2015-2016 USAP Field Season
Project Detail

Project Title

Phase 2 development of a Rapid Access Ice Drilling (RAID) platform for research in Antarctica

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Event Number:

Program Manager:
Dr. Michael Jackson

ASC POC/Implementer:
Judy Shiple / Matthew Kippenhan

Principal Investigator

Dr. John Goodge

University of Minnesota
Department of Geological Sciences
Duluth, Minnesota

Project Web Site:
http://www.rapidaccessicedrill.org External Web Site


Supporting Stations: McMurdo Station
Research Locations: Castle Rock Loop


The Rapid Access Ice Drill (RAID) aims to rapidly drill to deep ice (up to 3,300 meters deep), followed by the coring of ice, ice-sheet bed interface, and bedrock substrate below. The RAID drilling platform will give the scientific community access to a rich record of geologic and climatic change on a variety of timescales, from the billion-year rock record to thousand-year ice and climate histories. The main objective during the 2017-18 austral summer field season is to complete a trial of the drilling system begun last season to validate its operational readiness for science drilling.

Field Season Overview

A collaborative team of drillers and scientists from three different organizations (IDDO, DOSECC Exploration Services, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography) will converge on McMurdo around January 26, 2016, and spend a week at a site about one mile from McMurdo on the Castle Rock Loop, drilling holes through the firn with conventional ice coring drills and augers, and testing various rubber packers for sealing effectiveness.

Deploying Team Members

  • Jeffrey Severinghaus (Co-PI)