Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Physical properties analyses in East GRIP

We joined the East GRIP field campaign in 2018. East GRIP is an international project for ice-sheet core drilling in order to clarify the changing of Greenland ice-sheet and climate. Eight researchers and engineers participated in 2018 East GRIP campaign from Japan (including 1 Spanish researcher).

I stayed in ice-sheet camp since the middle of July up to the middle of August for the analysis of physical properties of ice-sheet core. Since the camp site is located in Arctic region and at 2700 m elevation, air temperature sometimes went down to -20℃ even in the middle of summer. Main tasks of physical property team are 1) forming and polishing of ice-sheet core that were drilled in the trench and 2) observing ice grains and fabric (crystal structure). Since the microstructures of ice-sheet ice are characteristically developed by ice-sheet flow processes, the detailed analyses of microstructures can provide the clues of past and future ice-sheet flow. We polished the surface of ice-sheet core samples that are formed for the observations using microtome. In order to obtain high-quality data, the ice surface polishing was finished very carefully by the micrometer. In the making of thin-section for the analysis of crystal structure, ice sample was thinned until 0.3 mm thick.

Daily activities were likely to be training camp rather than field observation since I worked in low temperature trench for most of a day. It was a wonderful experience for me to work and discuss with various colleagues in the international drilling site for ice-sheet core. We are planning to investigate the detailed microstructures, mechanical properties using drilled ice-sheet core and clarification of ice-sheet flow mechanism in collaboration with University of Copenhagen and Alfred-Wegener Institute.

Tomotaka Saruya (Nagaoka University of Technology / a member of Theme 2)

Processed ice-sheet cores for physical properties analyses

Peoples in the trench