Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

An affordable and miniature ice coring drill for rapid acquisition of small iceberg samples

New publication by Steffen Thomsen, Mads Holm Hansen, Jeppe Pinholt Lillethorup, Frederik Sebastian Tirsgaard, Adam Flytkjær, Claus Melvad, Søren Rysgaard, Daniel F.Carlso

2020.05.06 | Peter Schmidt Mikkelsen


Icebergs account for approximately half of the freshwater flux from the Greenland Ice Sheet and they can impact marine ecosystems by releasing nutrients and sediments into the ocean as they drift and melt. Parameterizing iceberg fluxes of nutrients and sediments to fjord and ocean waters remains a difficult task due to the complexity of ice-ocean interactions and is complicated by a lack of observations. Acquiring iceberg samples can be difficult and dangerous, as icebergs can break apart and roll without warning. Here we present open source design files for a small, lightweight ice coring drill that can be reproduced using modern computer numerical control (CNC) machining and 3D printing technology. This ice core drill can rapidly acquire small ice samples from icebergs and bergy bits using a standard commercial, off-the-shelf battery-operated hand drill. Design files and a recent field expedition to Northwest Greenland are described. Ice core collection required only 30 s, thereby minimizing risks to scientists.


Arctic Research Centre