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Paleo Slide Set: Polar Ice Cores
Cutter head and core barrel being examined.
The bottom part of an ice drill consists of a cutter head (the component that actually cuts the ice) and the core barrel, a hollow tube that accepts the ice carved out by the cutter head. The drill technician is brushing off the cutter head in preparation for another coring run. So many researchers were interested in analyzing ice from GISP2 that standard 10 cm diameter drills such as this were inadequate. Because of the great demand from the paleoclimatic community, the National Science Foundation contracted with the Polar Ice Coring Office to develop a drill capable of recovering cores 13.2 cm in diameter---providing nearly 75% more ice than standard cores extract. This bigger core size enabled scientists from 18 institutions to perform a veritable barrage of physical and chemical analyses on the GISP2 ice.

Photo Credits:
Kendrick Taylor
DRI, University of Nevada-Reno
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Last Modified: 12 October 2001

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