2011, what a remarkable year for U.S ice coring. WAIS Divide reached a milestone at 3,331 meters depth, creating the deepest ice core ever drilled by the U.S. and the second deepest ice core ever drilled by any group. In East Antarctica, two projects collected old ice from “blue ice” areas at Allan Hills and Taylor Glacier. And in West Antarctica, a traverse collected ice cores to evaluate recent changes in accumulation.
In the Arctic, shallow ice cores were collected along the Arctic Circle traverse and along the Thule-Summit traverse. And in Alaska, hand coring was done on the McCall Glacier.
NICL had a very busy schedule this past year. Ten weeks were spent during the summer processing the WAIS Divide core; a record of 1400 meters processed in a single CPL. The cores collected during the West Antarctic traverse were also processed at NICL. Probably one of the most important accomplishments at NICL was the replacement of an aging evaporative condenser unit, along with installation of a redundant backup unit, which did not exist before. Let us hope 2012 brings us as much success as did 2011.