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A Quest to Drill Below Antarctic Ice

University of Minnesota Office of the Vice President for Research

The crisp air of fall may have come to Minnesota, but the warmer months are coming soon down in Antarctica—and John Goodge has big summer plans.

Last year, Goodge, Ph.D., professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Minnesota Duluth, arrived on Earth’s coldest continent to begin testing a custom-designed drill that could dig deeper into the Antarctic ice sheet than any had before—so deep, in fact, that it would sample the billion-year-old bedrock below it.

Now, Goodge and project co-leader Jeff Severinghaus, Ph.D., geosciences professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, are gearing up to conduct a final spate of tests on the drill to clear it for use in research. Their efforts, funded by over $10 million from the National Science Foundation, will give researchers access to never-before-studied ice and rock samples from nearly 11,000 feet below the surface of the ice.

To read the complete article on the University of Minnesota Research website, click here.

The RAID drill, set up at the test drilling site.

Photo: John Goodge.