What excitement to actually scramble to get ready for a flight this morning! I got the call at 7am that we were "go" for a day trip to Siple Dome (SDM), where I needed to inspect the borehole casing on a deep borehole (1000 meters) that was finished in 1999 (see the early archives of this blog for some discussion of my work there back then). So at 7, I learned I needed to be ready for transport at 7:30, so I kicked into gear and got everything ready.
The De Haviland DHC-6 (AKA Twin Otter) that took me to SDM. I was the only passenger! The flight to SDM from McMurdo was about 3 hours. I had some time for a little light reading in addition to admiring the scenery...
Siple Dome is currently operated as a kind of remote gas station for airplanes- it's staffed by a crew of two. Outside their little hut, there's a signpost with the distances to various locales. The borehole is just a short snowmobile ride away.
Here's the video inspection system that I used to look inside the casing. The issue was that concerned us was the possibility of damage to the casing due to firn compaction- I'd seen this before at GISP2, when I took a look at it back in 2007 (see the blog post: http://coldclimes.blogspot.com/2007/08/borehole-inspection.html
The good news- all of the casing joints appeared to be completely intact, with no sign of damage or failure. Below is a quick screen grab of one of the joints- you can see it as the white circle of snow- the snow collects in the hollow space formed by the joint.
Ok, long day, time for bed. We're first priority for a flight to Roosevelt tomorrow, but I don't want to get too confident (though I keep hoping!).