26 Sep 2022
26 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

Progress of the RADIX fast access drilling system

Jakob Schwander1,2, Thomas Franziskus Stocker1,2, Remo Walther1,2, and Samuel Marending1,2 Jakob Schwander et al.
  • 1Climate and Environmental Physics, Physics Institute, University of Bern, Sidlerstrasse 5, 3012 Bern, Switzerland
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Bern, Switzerland

Abstract. A rapid access drilling system has been designed, realized and tested on polar ice sheets. A 20-mm access hole is drilled with a hydraulic coiled tubing system where the tube consists of a plastic hose. The ice cuttings are flushed to the surface in forward circulation, i.e. between hose and borehole wall, and can be sampled for analysis. A dedicated logger with 15 mm diameter is deployed into the hole for measuring the geometric orientation of the hole, the temperature profile and the dust content in the surrounding ice (optical dust logger). The equipment has been tested and improved during 6 field projects in Greenland and Antarctica. It is designed to ultimately drill quickly through a 3000 m ice sheet. Routine performance has been established to a depth of 300 m.

Jakob Schwander et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on tc-2022-183', Olivier Alemany, 04 Oct 2022
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2022-183', John Goodge, 17 Oct 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on tc-2022-183', Julius Rix, 21 Oct 2022

Jakob Schwander et al.

Jakob Schwander et al.


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Short summary
RADIX is a fast access ice drilling system for prospecting future deep drilling sites on glaciers and polar ice sheets. It consists of a 40-mm rapid firn drill, a 20-mm deep drill and a logger. The maximum depth range of RADIX is 3100 m by design. The nominal drilling speed is in the order of 40 m per hour. The 15-mm diameter logger provides data on the hole inclination and direction and measures temperature and dust in the ice surrounding the borehole.