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Last shift at WAIS

Posted January 23rd, 2009 by

Name: Logan Mitchell
Date: Jan 21, 2009
Location: WAIS Divide
Time: 10pm
Latitude: 79° 28’ 1.2” S
Longitude: 112° 5’ 6.0” W
Elevation: 1,759 m
Borehole depth: ~1490 m

Well, I hate to say it, but the end of the 2008-2009 drilling epoch here at WAIS Divide is drawing to a close.  Tonight will be my last shift, and as long as everything continues to go well, we will finish by tomorrow evening.  With that in mind I’ve been trying to wrap a few things up before we leave.

Tonight before my shift I finished construction of the WAIS Pole.  I got the idea from pictures that I have seen of the pole at South Pole and decided that WAIS Divide needed a similar pole.  The pole itself is a ~1.5m long silver cardboard tube that is used for transporting the ice cores.  I put some green netting (the same stuff we put around out ice cores) on the tube to give it some color.  Then, to top it off, I filled up a weather balloon with water and blue food coloring to give a neat pattern, then stuck the balloon outside and froze it.  Once it froze I peeled off the balloon, stuck it on top of the tubing and viola, the WAIS Pole was born!

The other major task that I had tonight before starting work was to break down the 3 walled backlit snowpit.  This was basically a lot of digging.  Since not many people have gone out there recently, the plywood that was covering the snowpit was covered with about a meter of snow!  This wasn’t that big of a deal though…I really like digging in the snow.  Since we were breaking it down, I had the pleasure of punching through one of the walls.  Lots of fun.

That’s all for now…I’m off to start my last shift!

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