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Episode 419             Episode 421
Episode 420

Ice drilling
Fri, 2018-Jun-29 00:21 UTC
Length - 2:38

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Friday, 29 June 2018 is Ice drilling.

Ice drilling allows scientists studying glaciers and ice sheets to gain access to what is beneath the ice, to take measurements along the interior of the ice, and to retrieve samples. Instruments can be placed in the drilled holes to record temperature, pressure, speed, direction of moveassment, and for other scientific research, such as neutrino detection.

Many different methods have been used since 1840, when the first scientific ice drilling expedition attempted to drill through the Unteraargletscher in the Alps. Two early methods were percussion, in which the ice is fractured and pulverized, and rotary drilling, a method often used in mineral exploration for rock drilling. In the 1940s, thermal drills began to be used; these drills melt the ice by heating the drill. Drills that use jets of hot water or steam to bore through ice soon followed. A growing interest in ice cores, used for palaeoclimatological research, led to ice coring drills being developed in the 1950s and 1960s, and there are now many different coring drills in use. For obtaining ice cores from deep holes, most investigators use cable-suspended electromechanical drills, which use an armoured cable to carry electrical power to a mechanical drill at the bottom of the borehole.

In 1966, a US team successfully drilled through the Greenland ice sheet at Camp Century, at a depth of 1,387 metres (4,551 ft). Since then many other groups have succeeded in reaching bedrock through the two largest ice sheets, in Greenland and Antarctica. Recent projects have focused on finding drilling locations that will give scientists access to very old undisturbed ice at the bottom of the borehole, since an undisturbed stratigraphic sequence is required to accurately date the information obtained from the ice.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:21 UTC on Friday, 29 June 2018.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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