K047: Climate and Landscape History from shallow Drilling in the Dry Valleys
Antarctica New Zealand 2000/01
The main technical objective of the season was to test the capabilities and design of the refurbished Winkie drilling system which was modified for air coring. Along with this objective, there were three scientific objectives: 1) to provide a series of shallow (2 m) cores to assess the degree of contamination of diesel drilling fluid around DVDP-6 (drilled in 1972), and to locate and re-enter this hole to assess its current status; 2) to provide stratigraphic cores of the Sirius Group at Allan Hills and Mt Feather for thickness and facies analyses; 3) to provide shallow cores for comparative age analyses by Be and N inventory of three different aged deposits (Sirius, Sirius regolith, and debris flow) at Table Mt and deployment of 2 m thermistor probes in two of those deposits which have pattern ground.
|i.||No suggestions to change the application process|
|ii.||Antarctica NZ staff are excellent|
|iii.||No suggestions on maps and aerial photos|
|iv.||Pre season information is generally good except it would be most helpful if the first aid/field manual could be sent prior to arrival and kit-up in Christchurch. Most all of the new comers would read these manuals with enthusiasm in trying to figure out what to pack and expect in Antarctica.|
|v.||No suggestions on change to the medicals etc.|
|i.||Flying box #1. Compressor and Drill Rods and parts.
933kg: 4.2m3 (Tare 300 kg)
|ii.||Flying box #1. Winkie Drill, Drill Shelter and parts.
1055kg: 4.2m3 (Tare 300 kg)
|iii.||ISO Space Cases of parts (3), Briggs cat head, Sigma box.
|iv.||Core Boxes with splits and core packaging (6).
|v.||In addition a further consignment of electronic equipment and gel cell batteries weighing approximately 250 kg was sent from VUW in early November.
Total Weight = 3203kg
Gear box and compressor oils were noted in the flying boxes and these were accepted without hazardous requirements. The gel cell batteries however required repackaging as hazardous cargo which was unexpected given that this battery type can be flown under commercial IATA regulations and in helicopters in Antarctica. It would seem that batteries are now considered hazardous because they are an electrical storage device that would normally be transported in a charged state. A general note available from page break Antarctica New Zealand regarding categories of hazardous cargo would be helpful for planning purposes.
3.1) Accompanied Cargo.
Approximately 105 kg of delicate scientific equipment including computers and survey equipment accompanied event personnel to Antarctica.
Warren Dickinson, Event Leader School of Earth Sciences Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600, Wellington Pat Cooper, Head Driller, Lake Vida Coopers Drilling Service Rapid Creek, Waimangaroa Westport Chris Hosie, Student and Research Assistant School of Earth Sciences Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600, Wellington Glen Kingan, Assistant Driller Webster Drilling Inc PO Box 50-354 Porirua Alex Pyne, Field Leader School of Earth Sciences Victoria University of Wellington PO Box 600, Wellington Tony Kingan, Head Driller, Allan Hills & Table Mt Webster Drilling Inc PO Box 50-354 Porirua Wayne Pollard, Canadian Scientist & Technical Observer Dr Wayne H. Pollard Department of Geography McGill University 805 Sherbrooke St. W. Montreal, Qc. H3A 2K6
5) FIELD PREPARATIONS
The K047A primary objective supported by Antarctica NZ was to carry out a program of shallow coring as proposed by Dr Warren Dickinson (VUW) with Webster Drilling providing drilling services in conjunction with VUW. In addition Webster Drilling were contracted by Raytheon Polar Services Company to carry out coring for an environmental remediation program at Lake Vida (DVDP bore hole #6). VUW considered this arrangement to be advantageous to the science program and supported it because it allowed the costs of drilling equipment development and mobilisation to be shared between two programs and also reduce helicopter requirements in Antarctica.
During the planning phases prior to deployment to Antarctica we attempted to keep Antarctica NZ informed of the Raytheon contract developments and these were time tabled into the K047A schedule by Peter Cleary. The Lake Vida work, planned to be carried out first was to be supported in the field by the US program. However K047A cargo and personnel were manifested to Scott Base by the New Zealand Program where preparations were made for both US and NZ parts of the field program. During this period it became apparent that a few items of our Antarctica page break NZ equipment requests were not considered to be available for the US part of the program, these were solved simply but the impression remained that official communication and planning between the NZ and US at the program level could have been improved and these ramifications made clear to VUW.
The equipment made available to K047A from Scott Base was in good condition and performed well in the field. The generator service kit provided is a significant step forward. The idea of a complete field friendly kit with built in drip tray served us well and was used for other motorised equipment as well. We hope to use the same idea for field servicing of small drilling equipment in the future. The only significant concern when at Allan hills was that we mislaid the soft Polar Haven floor (12'×8') in the Marble Pt. equipment cache. Our field equipment had been taken by sea ice surface transport to Marble Pt. and the floor had been stored with a different NZ science event's equipment in another part of the equipment cache. We found the Polar Haven tent to be significantly colder without the floor at Allan Hills. The floor was later recovered and used at Table Mountain. A lesser concern was the absence of guy ropes on some of the newest foldable Polar Tents. Additional guy ropes were provided on a resupply but were also mislaid for a few hours in the excitement of helicopter operations. The use of coloured packing slip type documentation in mail bags accompanying cargo originating from Scott Base would help field parties keep track of re supplies. A similar coloured form could be used by parties returning equipment and samples to Scott Base. This becomes even more important when field groups are large and several events may be working together. Testing equipment at Scott Base, note on preparing hydrocarbon contaminated cores.
Field training required for Chris Hosie, Glen Kingan and Wayne Pollard was carried out on their arrival at Scott Base for the move to Allan Hills.
- We were delayed 2-3 days from the scheduled put in at Lake Vida due to weather and consequent helo backup. This extra time was well used in drill testing and we drilled at a possible fuel contaminated site at Scott Base to test the practicality of drilling and core recovery in volcanic rocks for environmental tests. Notes on these tests are appended to this report.
6) FIELD TRANSPORT (Helicopter Operation)
For this season's drilling operations we constructed two 3.2 m long skid mounted "flying boxes" one, to carry the Winkie Drill and drilling equipment and the other to fit and operate the air compressor system. The boxes were primarily designed as underslung loads for the Bell 212 helicopters and were partly streamlined and built with a four point lift. The boxes were built as lightly as possible with tubular duragalv steel framing and plywood cladding. The tare weight of each box was about 300 kg including 2 side mounted drill deck units.
Equipment was consigned in the boxes and flown to Antarctica but required a double marriage pallet because of the overhang length of 0.8 m in excess of the single 8' long aircraft pallet. The flying boxes were repacked to reduce the weight to 1800–1900 lb for helicopter sling loads. The boxes did not fly as well as we hoped and a tail fin were constructed at Scott Base and fitted in the field adding a further 40 lb to the box weight. page break The boxes still did not fly well and this in part may be due to the PHI steel cable pendant where the swivel may not work properly with loads of 1800 lb.
|i.||Cargo consignment to Antarctica.|
|ii.||Enables the heating/start up and operation of the compressor in a controlled temperature environment.|
|iii.||Rapid packup and deployment of equipment.|
|iv.||Confinement and protection of equipment from burial in snow.|
In addition to the 2 large flying boxes which were each under slung, we required a third underslung load for drilling equipment/fuel and one Bell 212 internal load of equipment. An additional two Bell 212 internal loads were required for personnel (up to 6) and camp which included 3 folding Polar tents and the 12' by 8' Polar Haven with soft floor.
Most of the smaller drilling equipment was packaged in plastic space cases and consigned from New Zealand on pallets. These cases are designed to fit ISO pallet dimensions (1.10 × 1.10 m) and two 1.1m long boxes fit across the back cabin area of the Bell 212. Drilling equipment is usually heavy and it is all to easy to over fill these versatile boxes which makes it harder to pack the helicopter especially if only the pilot and copilot are doing a remote pickup; (sorry HNZ). The boxes provide secure storage of equipment in the field and contribute to an efficient drilling operation.
7) EVENT DIARY
|NOV 3||Chch||WD,AP,PC,TK boomerang flight|
|S 4||Chch-SB||WD,AP,PC,TK arrive SB 8:30p|
|Su 5||SB||Boxes to cold porch & begin unpacking|
|M 6||SB||Prep & repack drill equip|
|T 7||SB||AP,PC,TK,WD meet w/ BG,KW; Core boxes from BFC, Rig for test drill of SB diesel spill|
|W 8||SB||Test drill system; compressor operation in cold; took 1m core in basalt for contamination|
|Th 9||SB-Vida||Pack drill kit; WD,AP,PC,TK 7:30p to Vida; BG, KW av Vida 10pm; 4x sling loads follow; last av @ 5am|
|F 10||Vida||Set-up drill system; WD takes 1.5m Sipre core of L Vida ice near west end stream entry|
|S 11||Vida||12pm start drill PC-5; move to PC-4; finish @ 6pm|
|Su 12||Vida||10am start drill PC-1; 3pm move to PC-6 & finish 8pm; Cleary drops off spare bits from Websters|
|M 13||Vida||Visit by Craig Potton 9am 10am move to PC-7 & drill; 12:30p move to PC-3; 3pm move to PC-2 & finish drill 5:30p; AP,PC,TK,KW hike across lake|
|T 14||Vida||9am coms w/ SB and McM about next moves; 11am start drill PC-8; page break 4:30p start drill PC-9 finish 5p; dig & find DVDP-6; plans to case but need to make tools @SB|
|W 15||Vida||WoW to move AP to SB; BG & KW hike to dune; others in camp|
|Th 16||Vida||WoW; BG,WD hike to overlook; others in camp|
|F 17||Vida||WoW; BG,WD hike to Upper Victoria Glacier, others hike to Dune|
|S 18||Vida||9am PC,BG to McM; 2pm AP to Cape Roberts to repair tide gauge; WD studies pattern ground|
|Su 19||Vida||12pm WD,TK,KW hike to east end of Lake Vida|
|M 20||Vida||8:30am PC arrives w/tools; 11pm reaming DVDP-6 w/ casing; hole in good cond; AP arrives 1:30p; set 12m of casing w/10l water; capped by 5pm; packed up drill system by 7pm|
|T 21||Vida-Mpt||4pm WD,AP,PC,TK,KW + personal kit & ice core box to Mpt via K047B, Lower Vic Glacier to pick up solar panel; PC & KW on to McM; repack camp kit for AH|
|W 22||Mpt-AH||3pm WP,CH,GK move SB to Mpt; 4:30p AP,TK,GK,CH move to AH/Trudge Vly & set up camp by 8pm; WD,WP hike to Bay of Sails north of Mpt.|
|Th 23||Mpt-AH||10:30a WD,WP to AH/Trudge Vly; fuel sling from Mpt; 2x sling + internal loads from Vida to AH by 4pm; setting up drill rig|
|F 24||AH||Setting up rig; drilling@1pm; AH-T-1 ice free to 1.5m = no core! repair power head; WD,WP hike to U Triangle|
|S 25||AH||WD,PH observe Sirius @ U Triangle; Compressor mount sheared off, geo bolts found for repair! carb repair on power head; no drilling|
|Su 26||AH||WD,PH,CH,WP hike to L Triangle & LakeVly; 11am drilling AH-T-1 & TD in Weller @ 6:30p|
|M 27||AH||WD,AP,TK,GK,PH check L Triangle & decide not to drill there; WP,CH hike to Camp Vly; WD rtn to camp via Watters Pk; solar flares = no radio coms|
|T 28||AH||10am move rig 150m S; WD,WP,CH ice cored LV-1 = 1.1m and LV-2 = 2.05m w/ PICO auger; return 6pm; 4pm drill AH-T-2 to 1.8m no ice; hole caving; 7pm cmted rubble w/20l water to set for nite; no coms|
|W 29||AH||Coms w/SB;10:30a drill out cmted rubble & cored 2.0-4.5m w/reaming, finish 6pm; blowing >15knts all day|
|Th 30||AH||11am coring and reaming 4.5-8.3m; TD in Weller@ 7pm; used nearly all fuel; 11pm-2am packed rig for 10am sling out|
|DEC 1||AH||WoW @ AH, fine at SB; good coms for weather reports every 2hrs|
|S 2||AH||WoW; WD,AP,WP climb Sched Pk for weather rpt; WD,WP examine pattern ground in Trudge Vly|
|Su 3||AH||WoW; WD,CB examine Mawson on Mt Watters: others in camp all day; WD & CB collect & bag old rubbish from around supply cashe (ca 1963) left at tongue of Odell Glacier in Trudge Vly|
|M 4||AH-Mpt||9:45a WD,AP,WP,GK move to Battleship Prom. to collect endoliths; unload survival gear; helo moves TK,CH to Mpt; 12:45 WD,AP,WP,GK move to Mpt; clean & repack camp kit for TM|
|T 5||Mpt||WoW @ Mpt for move to TM; read, video, eat!|
|W 6||Mpt||WoW; outline prelim report; examine beach ridges N of Marble Pt|
|Th 7||Mpt-TM||10am WD,TK,GK move to TM; 10cm snow = difficult to locate page break drill sites; carried gear 400m downslope to SW and set-up camp; 2x slings + internal from AH; 1x sling from Mpt; AP,CH av @ 10:15p & finish camp set-up 1am!|
|F 8||TM||AP,WD find exact loc of camp on aerial photo; set up rig; new warm up procedure for compressor; drilling TM-00-1 by 6:30p & cored 0.5m when clutch on power head broke|
|S 9||TM||Drilling @ 11am 0.8m/hr; ice cuttings not clearing well; stopped @ 7:30p @6.1m, slow but steady day|
|Su 10||TM||10am changed to T-60 bit, drilled 0.2m & barrel got frozen in hole 11am; jacks in bad repair & could not jack out; poured hot salty water (6% sol'n) in hole but no give; rod twisted off @ sub; spare sub at SB; moral is low!|
|M 11||TM||11am AP to SB for tools and parts; WD,CH measure polygons; WD,CH,GK climb Mt Buggar; AP arrives 11pm with retrieval tools|
|T 12||TM||10am overdrilling w/NQ; 10:30a NQ bit is frozen & stuck; 3pm jacked out NQ; move to TM-00-2; 1.5hrs to start cooler; 10pm monkey jars & fuel av from SB; 11pm finished coring @2.37m|
|W 13||TM||Drilled data logger post hole TM-00-2a; spud TM-00-3 @1pm; TD@ 2.17 when radiator cooler clogged w/ ice @3:30p. AP sets up data logger in TM-00-2|
|Th 14||TM||Moved to TM-00-4 & cored 3.21m in 1.5 hrs and finished by 1pm; moved to TM-00-5; drilling dolerite clast (0.3m in 1.5hr) & decided to TD hole @ 1.83m; drilled data logger post hole TM-00-5a; WD sampled Sirius fractures|
|F 15||TM||10am drilling TM-00-6; 10:30a K042 av & set up camp around us; drilling slow but steady; 6:30p TD @ 4.40m & packed fly boxes; AP sets up #2 data logger in TM-00-6|
|S 16||TM||3x slings to SB @ 2, 3:30 & 5am; WD,SH climb Navajo Pk; upslope cloud @9am; WoW to move to SB|
|Su 17||TM-SB||9:30a WD,SH to SB; 11:30a AP,TK,GK to SB; clean camp kit; pack boxes for NZ; bag drag 6:30p|
|M 18||SB-Chch||9am WD,AP to Chch; av 5pm & de-kit; 6:30pm flight to Wgtn|
WD (Warren Dickinson)
AP (Alex Pyne)
TK (Tony Kingan)
PC (Pat Cooper)
GK (Glen Kingan)
CH (Chris Hosie)
WP (Wayne Pollard)
PH (Phil Holm)
CB (Carl Bornholdt)
SH (Steve Hicock)
NSF Personnel Lake Vida
BG (Bill Gilmore)
KW (Kirsten Wade)
TD (total depth)
WoW (waiting on weather)
SB (Scott Base)
McM (McMurdo station)
Mpt (Marble Pt. station)
AH (Allan Hills)
TM (Table Mt)
8) EVENT MAP
(see attached for Lake Vida, Allan Hills, and Table Mt.)
9) WEATHER (9:00 am)
|Date||Location||Cloud Cover||Cloud Type||Wind Knots||Wind (dir)||Temp °C||Comments|
|Su 5||SB||---||---||---||---||---||Condition 2|
|M 6||SB||---||---||---||---||---||Condition 2|
|T 7||SB||---||---||---||---||---||Hi Cloud, no snow|
|W 8||SB||---||---||---||---||---||Lite Snow|
|Th 9||SB-Vida||0/8||5||E||−8||8p @ Lake Vida|
|F 10||Vida||1/8||Cs||<5||---||−4||inc 10kt E in pm|
|S 11||Vida||1/8||Cs||<2||---||−4||inc 10kt E in pm|
|Su 12||Vida||0/8||10||E||−2||20kt between 3am - 6am|
|M 13||Vida||0/8||<3||V||−3||inc 10kt in pm|
|T 14||Vida||8/8||As||<3||V||−4||unrestricted vis|
|W 15||Vida||7/8||As||<3||V||---||inc 15kt by 11am; cond 2 @ SB|
|Th 16||Vida||7/8||As||10||E||−4||cond 2 @ SB|
|F 17||Vida||7/8||As||17||E||−5||Helos not flying|
|S 18||Vida||5/8||As||5||E||−4||Helos flying|
|Su 19||Vida||0/8||15||E||−3||constant wind all day|
|T 21||Vida-Mpt||8/8||As||<3||V||−4||unrestricted visibility|
|W 22||Mpt-AH||1/8||As||10||S||−2||for Mpt|
|Th 23||Mpt-AH||0/8||<5||S||−2||for Mpt|
|S 25||AH||8/8||Sc||20||SE||−13||snowing; wind dec to <3 by evening|
|Su 26||AH||5/8||Sc||13||SE||−12||Solar flares, no coms|
|M 27||AH||3/8||As||10||SE||−11||Solar flares, no coms|
|T 28||AH||8/8||Sc||20||SE||−14||Solar flares, no coms|
|DEC 1||AH||8/8||Sc||5||SE||−13||clear @ 7a but socked in by 9am|
|S 2||AH||8/8||Sc||<5||SE||−13||lite snow thru day|
|Su 3||AH||8/8||Sc||5||SE||−15||snow dec thru daypage break|
|M 4||AH-Mpt||5/8||Sc||<5||SE||−13||patchy lo cloud thru day @ AH|
|T 5||Mpt||8/8||Sc||10||S||−3||no helos from SB|
|W 6||Mpt||7/8||Sc||5||S||−3||cond 2 @ SB|
|Th 7||Mpt-TM||0/8||<2||V||−10||10am @ TM|
|Su 10||TM||0/8||<5||V||−12||clouds building thru day|
|T 12||TM||1/8||Cs||<3||V||−10||clouds building thru day|
|W 13||TM||1/8||Cs||<3||V||−10||snowing in late pm|
|Th 14||TM||2/8||Sc||<3||V||−11||Sc in lo valley|
|F 15||TM||2/8||Sc||<3||V||−10||Sc lo in valley|
|S 16||TM||7/8||Sc||<3||V||−10||lite snow thru day|
|Su 17||TM-SB||4/8||Sc||<3||V||−10||patchy cloud|
|M 18||SB-Chch||4/8||As||<3||V||−2||8am @ SB|
10) ACCIDENTS, INCIDENTS or HAZARDS
There were no accidents, incidents or hazards to report
11) FIELD EQUIPMENT
The event was issued with new folding Polar Tents that performed well and made packaging the helicopter significantly easier. Some care has to be taken when connecting the internal poles to prevent catching the surrounding fabric sleeve. This is more difficult in the cold when the internal bungie chord has lost its spring but this recovers when the tent is erected and warmed up.
The Polar Haven tent was used for messing up to 8 people as well as the warming and maintenance of equipment. These tents are a valuable resource for the NZ field operation and can provide quality lab space as well as a general messing and warm work area. The performance of the tent improves greatly with a rigid insulated floor but the canvas floor also helps and is more suitable for our mobile operation.
VUW has purchased a Sigma fuel heater that has been set up as a portable unit for use with the Polar Haven. However Antarctica NZ could consider the purchase of more of these heaters, set up for portable operation as well as other equipment specifically for Polar Haven use. The standard kitchen box, for example, is designed for use in the 2 man Polar Tent and is unsatisfactory in the warm Polar Haven Tent environment. A plastic space case based kitchen unit with small sink; pizo propane double burner, utensil and cookware storage could be developed to mess up to 6 people. Connection to a sigma heater with heat exchanger for ice melting would also be possible. Other camping page break accessories such as lightweight folding aluminium tables are also required for the Polar Haven tents.
12) RADIO COMMUNICATIONS
Scott Base communication operators generally seem unaware of their importance to field parties. Without citing specific examples, members of this event found it difficult and often unreliable to send messages through the base operators. A particularly difficult time with the radio operators occurred in early December when operator teams were changed. One suggestion may be to change over one operator at a time rather than all three at once. After this change over, there were several incidents where a Scott Base operator failed to respond to calls from field parties. These were calls heard clearly by other field parties indicating that the base operator was simply switched off.
Radio communications with the NSF helos is poor to nonexistent and needs improvement.
Communication with McMurdo helo ops should be available. Too often Kiwi field parties get word from Scott Base operators that the helo will arrive at a certain hour, but in fact it shows up 4-5 hours later. This is because the base operator has either mis-read the daily flight sheet or there is some genuine problem with the helo. It seems reasonable that since all helo movements are done through Mac Center, and since US parties have communication access to Mac Center, that Kiwi field parties should also have communication to Mac Center.
13) SCOTT BASE LABORATORY FACILITIES
Scott Base lab facilities were not used by this event.
14) REFUGE & RESEARCH HUTS
These huts were not used by this event.
15) ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Site 1: Lake Vida, DVDP-6 (S 77°22 42.75854; E 161°48 59.57237); 9 Nov - 20 Nov; 11 days; 4 people; 44 person days; core drilling and remediation around old hole DVDP-6 (see attached Table for core taken at this site)
Site 2: Trudge Valley, Allan Hills (approx. S 76°42 18.0; E 159°47 24.0) 23 Nov - 4 Dec; 10 days; 6 people; 60 person days; coring Sirius Group deposits (see attached Table for core taken)
Site 3: Battleship Promontory (S 76° 54.971; E 161° 01.739) 4 Dec (10:15am - 12:45pm); 4 people; sampling and collecting endolithic algae from the Beacon Orthoquartzite; 10kg of rock collected.
Site 4: Table Mountain (approx. S 77°57 37.0; E 161°57 45.0) 8 Dec - 16 Dec; 9 days; 5 people; 45 person days; coring Sirius and patterned ground (see attached Table for core taken)page break
No protected areas were visited by event members. However, endolithic algae were collected at Battleship Promontory and perhaps this area should be considered as a protected area in the future.
Event members did not interfere with any wildlife.
Shallow core was taken from each of the three sites as detailed in the table below. The nature of the core varied from glacial dimict to well sorted sandstone. All of the core was ice cemented. An average density of the core was 2.65g/cc which, for a 60mm diameter core, is 7.5 kg /metre. The extracted weight of the total core was 319kg.
|AREA||HOLE #||DATE (2000)||START DEPTH (m)||TOTAL DEPTH (m)||TOTAL CORE RECOVERED (m)|
|Allan Hills (Trudge Valley)||AH-T-1||24-26/11||0||4.23||2.30|
|20.81||18.34 (138kg)page break|
|v.||No hazardous chemicals, other than fuels and lubricating oils, were taken into the field. All unused fuels and oils were returned to Scott Base. However, a note on the use of fuels and oils in the field is necessary. All kero for cooking was supplied in 20l plastic containers. These containers had fittings for taps, but taps for dispensing the fuel were not supplied. It is virtually impossible to pour a full 20l container into a two litre container for use in the tent without spillage. Taps for the 20l containers should be made available to field parties. Scott Base field managers should describe the use of the taps to all field parties. Portable plastic berms, borrowed from the US program at Lake Vida, were used for our fuelling operation of drilling equipment. These portable berms are light weight and fold into a small size and a variety of sizes should be purchased by Antarctica NZ.|
|vi.||Explosives were not used by this event.|
|vii.||No animals, plants, were imported to or removed from Antarctica by members of this event.|
|viii.||One thermistor probe was left in each of two holes (TM-00-2 and TM-00-5) drilled at Table Mt (approx loc.S 77°57 37.0; E 161°57 45.0). Each probe was 6mm in diameter, 2 m long and suspended in the hole with open-cell armaflex pipe insulation. Cables from the probe were attached to a controller box (500x400x200mm) fitted with a solar panel and a space case (550x500x500mm) containing two 75Ah, sealed lead-acid batteries. These probes will be down loaded in November 2001 and reprogrammed for an additional year.|
|ix.||Daily activity by event members required tramping across desert pavement, rock and snow surfaces at the field sites. Disturbance to these surfaces, was also caused by the portable drilling equipment, which was set up, used and taken apart. Several small shallow pits were dug at each site to determine the depth to the ground ice. All of the pits were back-filled and disturbed desert pavement surfaces were raked and swept to restore them as best as possible to their original state. However, skid marks and oil droppings left behind by various helicopter movements were not restored. The loss of hydraulic oil from helicopters working in the Dry Valleys remains a serious source of pollution.|
|x.||For some reason, 60l greywater barrels were not issued at Scott Base this season, but they were replaced with 20l disposable plastic containers. Conservatively, the average person produces about 2l (urine + kitchen) of greywater per day. Our event was issued four 20l containers for Allan Hills and Table Mt. We used up all four at Allan Hills (60 person days x 2l = 120l total greywater) and as a consequence, we were forced to freeze buckets of greywater and set them out to ablate in the wind. In addition, the 20l containers were in short supply at Scott Base, and we ran short of them at Table Mt as well. We strongly recommend that for large (>3 persons) field parties, 60l barrels are used in the future to avoid the dumping of greywater. (approx 40l at Allan Hills and 20l at Table Mt were dumped)|
16) HISTORIC SITES
Historic sites were not visited by member of this event
17) MANAGEMENT OF SCIENCE IN THE ROSS DEPENDENCY
During the early stages of our event at Scott Base and Lake Vida, we became aware that official communication and planning between NZ and the US at the program level could have been improved. We expect that drilling work similar to that carried out by K047A will be required in the future,for both NZ and US programs. It makes economic sense to spread drilling mobilisation costs between several groups where possible but we require agreed guidelines to enable NZ contractors to support both national programs without incurring unnecessary costs that could reduce NZ technical expertise, commercial advantage and leadership in this field.
Prior to K047A deployment to Antarctica, Peter Cleary determined that preparations and requests for the Lake Vida program within the US system had not been completed as per our expectations and stated in the Raytheon contract. We are grateful that he pursued this on our behalf so that this problem was largely dealt with on our arrival at Scott Base.
There is continuing problem about importing Antarctic soil, sediment, rock and ice samples. With all the snakes, mosquitos, spiders etc that have recently been found in the country, MAF are coming under real heat to control imports. As such they are loath to distinguish and make exceptions for samples which come from Antarctica. Scientifically however, it would be very difficult to justify a biosecurity threat from any antarctic samples. Rock samples seem to be OK, but sediment, soil and water (non seawater) seem to pose a risk. As you know, there is a very fine line between soils and sedimentary rocks which flake and crumble.
To date we have avoided the MAF dogma by claiming all of our samples are rocks, which when dealing with sedimentary rocks is really not the case. If we continue to do this MAF may eventually find out how we are bending the 'rules' and get very nasty on us. The bottom line will be the increased cost we will have to bear to appease the regulators that Antarctic samples are biologically safe. It would be most helpful if Antarctica NZ could approach this problem on some sort of higher level with MAF that would allow a variance for Antarctic rock, soil and ice samples.
Notes for Hydrocarbon Sampling of Frozen Core.
At Scott Base during the field preparation period in early November we cored frozen volcanic sediments and bedrock to test the drilling equipment using chilled compressed air and diamond drill bits. This was carried out in the road area adjacent to the Pump House and WetLab in an area which was expected to have some possible hydrocarbon contamination. The coring operation went very well with complete core recovery of a few centimetres of sediment on top of vesicular basaltic bedrock. The total core recovered was in excess of 1.0 metre. Vesicles and fractures in the bedrock were filled with ice that was recovered intact. At the time of core recovery a hydrocarbon smell was noted on several occasions but this disappeared after a few hours and the ice content also ablated away even though the cores were kept frozen. It was not clear if the hydrocarbon smell was associated with the ice content but this could be possible at shallow depths were flowing water and hydrocarbons may be present during the high summer melt page break period. The relationship between ice content and the volatile hydrocarbons may indicate how fluids move in the subsurface and at the permafrost interface.
We recommend that compressed air coring should be carried out with Ambient air temperatures not greater than −10°C to prevent downhole melting. Samples of core should be taken immediately on recovery of the core, stored in airtight containers to preserve both volatile and residual hydrocarbons and kept frozen −18°C. Containers where the headspace can be drawn off with a syringe for gas chromatograph analysis would be advantageous.