Skip to main content
main-content
Top

About this book

This book provides a review of thermal ice drilling technologies, including the design, parameters, and performance of various tools and drills for making holes in ice sheets, ice caps, mountain glaciers, ice shelves, and sea ice. In recent years, interest in thermal drilling technology has increased as a result of subglacial lake explorations and extraterrestrial investigations. The book focuses on the latest ice drilling technologies, but also discusses the historical development of ice drilling tools and devices over the last 100 years to offer valuable insights into what is possible and what not to do in the future. Featuring numerous figures and pictures, many of them published for the first time, it is intended for specialists working in ice-core sciences, polar oceanography, drilling engineers and glaciologists, and is also a useful reference for researchers and graduate students working in engineering and cold-regions technology.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Hot-Point Drills

Abstract
Hot-points are designed for producing boreholes without a core by melting ice and used to install ablation sticks, to determine ice thickness, to locate englacial and subglacial streams, to deploy sensors and tools under ice shelves, to measure temperatures and closure rates of glaciers, to study subglacial environment in Earth and other planets. The energy for the melting tip heater is provided by a hot fluid that is pumped down using hoses in a closed circuit or by electricity transported via electrical cable.
Pavel G. Talalay

Chapter 2. Electric Thermal Coring Drills

Abstract
Ice-coring electric thermal drills are designed for continuous or discrete sampling in glaciers, ice sheets, and sea and lake ice covers. Coring is performed using a heated annular coring head that melts the ice around the desired core. Meltwater may be left down in shallow holes in temperate glaciers, can be removed from the borehole into a chamber above the core barrel or via intermittent bailing, replaced with non-freezing drilling fluid or hydrophilic antifreeze must be added and mixed with the meltwater. Electric thermal coring drills are particularly effective in temperate and polythermal glaciers.
Pavel G. Talalay

Chapter 3. Hot-Water Ice Drills

Abstract
Hot-water drills provide fastest penetration in glaciers and, nowadays, are actively used for the observation of ocean cavities under ice shelves, the retrieval of sub-ice seabed samples, the study of internal ice structures, video imaging, temperature logging, measurements of deformation within ice, the determination of basal sliding velocity, clean accessing to subglacial lakes. During drilling, hot water is pumped at high pressure through a drill hose to a nozzle that jets hot water to melt the ice. The water from the nozzle uses the melted hole as the return conduit and then, at the surface, it usually reuses by the hot-water drill.
Pavel G. Talalay

Chapter 4. Steam Ice Drills

Abstract
Steam ice drills are used for shallow drilling to install ablation stakes, pressure transducers, and other sensors and to create large-diameter holes for sewage disposal and construction of water wells. During drilling, steam produced by boilers or steam generators flows through an insulated hose into the borehole, where it condenses and melts the ice.
Pavel G. Talalay

Chapter 5. Perspectives for Future Development of Thermal Ice-Drilling Technology

Abstract
Future development of thermal drilling systems is recommended to focus on reliable growth, safety, and environmental improvements, as well as increases in performance. Specific challenges related to improving thermal drilling technology include developing unconventional thermal ice-drilling methods; searching for new heating technologies; developing directional thermal-drilling methods; and designing automated drilling systems. The certain steps have been taken to test unconventional thermal ice-drilling methods like dissolution drilling, flame-jet drilling, and laser drilling.
Pavel G. Talalay

Backmatter

Additional information