General Information

The Ross Ice Shelf Project (RISP) began in 1973 and lasted six field seasons. One of the primary goals for RISP was to drill a hole through the Ross Ice Shelf to study the ice, the ocean, and the ocean floor beneath the ice shelf. In late November 1974, during the second field season, the camp at J-9 (82.375S, 168.626W) on the southeastern Ross Ice Shelf was established. RISP drilling started in 1976/77 with a PICO wireline drill that drilled a hole 187 mm in diameter to retrieve a 60 mm core. The borehole was left dry of drilling fluid to keep it clean, but as a consequence, the drill became stuck in the borehole at 90 m above the base (420 m) during a drill crew changeover. Subsequent attempts during the 1977/78 season to melt out the wireline drill with hot water failed. During the 1978/79 season, a lightweight Russian electrothermal drill, using ethanol as antifreeze, provided continuous core to the ice- shelf bottom and access to the ocean (Bentley and Koci, 2007).

A discontinuous archive of the top 104 m of the dry drilled 1976 J-9 core (NSF-ICF core ID: J-9Bern) resides at the ICF. The 1976 core was originally archived at the Central Ice Core Storage Facility at SUNY, Buffalo, and later transferred to the NSF-ICF. Samples from the 1976 core were taken in the 1980s, but no sampling has occurred since.