Greenland Ice Sheet Project

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from GISP2)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
GISP2 logo

The Greenland Ice Sheet Project (GISP) was a decade-long project to drill ice cores in Greenland that involved scientists and funding agencies from Denmark, Switzerland and the United States. Besides the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), funding was provided by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Danish Commission for Scientific Research in Greenland. The ice cores provide a proxy archive of temperature and atmospheric constituents that help to understand past climate variations.

The preliminary GISP field work started in 1971 at Dye 3 (65°N 43°W / 65°N 43°W / 65; -43 (Dye 3)), where a 372 meter deep, 10.2 cm diameter core was recovered. After this, annual field expeditions were carried out to drill intermediate depth cores at various locations on the ice sheet. The first was a 398 m core at Milcent and another was a 405 m core at the Crete station in 1974. After working out various logistical and engineering problems related to the development of a more sophisticated drilling rig, drilling to bedrock at Dye 3 began in the summer[when?] of 1979 using a new Danish electro-mechanical ice drill. In the first year, an 18 cm diameter hole was drilled and cased to a depth of 80 m. Coring continued for two more seasons, and on August 10, 1981, bedrock was reached at a depth of 2037 m. The Dye 3 site was a compromise: glaciologically, a higher site on the ice divide with smooth bedrock would have been better; logistically, such a site would have been too remote.

GISP drilling operations[edit]

GISP drilling operations[1]
Year Location Coordinates Type of drill Core diam. (cm) Depth (m) Notes
1971 Dye 3 65°11′N 43°49′W / 65.183°N 43.817°W / 65.183; -43.817 Thermal 10.2 372 CRREL thermal drill.[2]
1972 North Site 75°46′N 42°27′W / 75.767°N 42.450°W / 75.767; -42.450 SIPRE 7.6 15
1972 Crete 71°07′N 37°19′W / 71.117°N 37.317°W / 71.117; -37.317 SIPRE 7.6 15
1973 Milcent 70°18′N 45°35′W / 70.300°N 45.583°W / 70.300; -45.583 Thermal 12.4 398 CRREL thermal drill.[2]
1973 Dye 2 66°23′N 46°11′W / 66.383°N 46.183°W / 66.383; -46.183 Shallow 7.6 50
1974 Crete 71°07′N 37°19′W / 71.117°N 37.317°W / 71.117; -37.317 Thermal 12.4 405 CRREL thermal drill.[2]
1974 Dye 2 66°23′N 46°11′W / 66.383°N 46.183°W / 66.383; -46.183 Shallow 10.2 101
1974 Summit 71°17′N 37°56′W / 71.283°N 37.933°W / 71.283; -37.933 Shallow 7.6 31
1975 Dye 3 65°11′N 43°49′W / 65.183°N 43.817°W / 65.183; -43.817 Shallow 7.6 95
1975 South Dome 63°33′N 44°36′W / 63.550°N 44.600°W / 63.550; -44.600 Shallow 7.6 80
1975 Hans Tausen 82°30′N 38°20′W / 82.500°N 38.333°W / 82.500; -38.333 Shallow 7.6 60
1976 Dye 3 65°11′N 43°49′W / 65.183°N 43.817°W / 65.183; -43.817 Wireline 10.0 93 CRREL wireline drill; test hole prior to sending the drill to the Ross Ice Shelf.[3]
1976 Hans Tausen 82°30′N 38°20′W / 82.500°N 38.333°W / 82.500; -38.333 Shallow 7.6 50
1977 Camp Century 77°10′N 61°08′W / 77.167°N 61.133°W / 77.167; -61.133 Shallow 7.6 100
1977 Dye 2 66°23′N 46°11′W / 66.383°N 46.183°W / 66.383; -46.183 Shallow 7.6 84
1977 North Central 74°37′N 39°36′W / 74.617°N 39.600°W / 74.617; -39.600 Shallow 7.6 100
1977 Camp III 69°43′N 50°08′W / 69.717°N 50.133°W / 69.717; -50.133 Shallow 7.6 49
1978 Dye 3 65°11′N 43°49′W / 65.183°N 43.817°W / 65.183; -43.817 Shallow 10.2 90
1978 Camp III 69°43′N 50°08′W / 69.717°N 50.133°W / 69.717; -50.133 Shallow 7.6 80
1979-1981 Dye 3 65°11′N 43°49′W / 65.183°N 43.817°W / 65.183; -43.817 Thermal & electromechanical 10.2 2037 CRREL thermal drill to 80 m to install casing; Danish ISTUK EM drill from 80 m to bedrock.[1]

GISP2[edit]

There was a follow-up U.S. GISP2 project, which drilled at a glaciologically better location on the summit of the ice sheet. This hit bedrock (and drilled another 1.55 m into bedrock) on July 1, 1993 after five years of drilling, while European scientists produced a parallel core in the GRIP project. GISP2 produced an ice core 3053.44 meters in depth, the deepest ice core recovered in the world at the time.[4]

The location of the GISP2 drilling was revisited annually during summer campaigns to investigate the post-depositional properties of gasses and aerosols in the firn. Eventually, GISP2 and Summit Camp became the site of a year-round NSF / NOAA climate observatory and research facility known as the Greenland Environmental Observatory or GEOSummit.[5]

The bulk of the GISP2 ice core is archived at the National Ice Core Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado, United States.

Photograph of a section of the GISP2 ice core from 1837 m depth with clearly visible annual layers.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Langway et al. (1985), p. 3.
  2. ^ a b c Langway (2008), p. 28.
  3. ^ Talalay (2016), p. 80.
  4. ^ The GISP2 Ice Coring Effort, National Climatic Data Center
  5. ^ NSF's Summit Greenland Observatory

Sources[edit]

  • Langway, Chester C.; Oeschger, H.; Dansgaard, W. (1985). "The Greenland Ice Sheet Program in Perspective". In Langway, Chester C.; Oeschger, H.; Dansgaard, W. Greenland Ice Core: Geophysics, geochemistry, and the environment. Washington D.C.: American Geophysical Union. pp. 1–8. ISBN 0875900577.
  • Langway, Chester C. (January 2008). "The history of early polar ice cores" (PDF). CRREL Report (TR-08–1): 1–47. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-11-18.
  • Talalay, Pavel G. (2016). Mechanical Ice Drilling Technology. Beijing: Springer. ISBN 978-7-116-09172-6.

External links[edit]