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19 July, 2001

As with most projects that are multi-faceted, there are things that go well, and there are glitches that occur. The things that go well usually have to do with achieving the goals of the project, and when this occurs success is sweet. The glitches usually have to do with unexpected scenarios. So, here is a run down to date.

Progress/Successes -

Of the 12 holes we have drilled, 9 of them have drained englacially. This means that what we are setting out to study really exist!

We are finding englacial drainage features in most of the holes with the borehole video camera, and are able to get some basic measurements of them (I spend many hours gazing into a video monitor each day). This was the primary goal of the drilling portion of the project.

We are measuring water level changes multiple times each day in the holes that have an englacial hydraulic connection (graduate student Sara Frodin is tracking this).

We have drilled to the glacier bed in two of our holes.

Pressure transducers have been set into two holes to record water level changes on a long-term basis.

We are moving to our next study site on the glacier.

Challenges/Frustrations -

The weather has been continuously rainy and windy. Time and effort is spent trying to keep electronic equipment dry and objects from blowing away. This detracts from efficient work.

Due to the presence of the upper cold layer (see July 12 journal entry), our boreholes freeze shut every couple of days. In order to put measuring instruments into holes, they need to be redrilled numerous times.

The drill is beginning to give us trouble. The hot water heater is giving off thick black smoke, which indicates that a fuel-air mix problem exists. After spending yesterday doing some basic maintenance on the drill, we suspect that there may be a problem with the fuel we are using.

I will keep you posted as to how these various issues resolve themselves.

The base of operations at our first drilling site. The water pump and generator are seen in the forground and to the right. The hot water heater is on the sled to the left. Sar Frodin and Andrew Founain are in the distance drilling.

A closer view of Andrew Fountain and Sara Frodin drilling a hole in the glacier.

TEA Robert Schlichting attaches a copper wire cage to the end of the borehole video camera. What might be the purpose of the attachment? And why is it made out of copper?

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