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Operation "deep drill" in Australian Antarctic



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No. 26

FOR PRESS 416

O PERATION "DEEP DRILL" IN AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC

(Statement by the Minister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson)

A seven-man party has left Australia's new Antarctic

station Casey by tractor train to set up an ice drill and supply equipment

at Cape Folger, about 12 miles north of the station.

The Minister for Supply, Senator Ken Anderson, said

this in Sydney today (June 2) .

The expedition will pave the way for nine months of field

work by a two-man glaciological team consisting of Ross Anderson

(of Melbourne) and Syd Little (of Brisbane).

The two men will drill three holes in the ice to a target

depth of 1, 500 ft.

Radio operator Mike Riley (of Sydney) will spend the next

five weeks with them to lend assistance and provide radio contact with

Casey.

These drilling operations are a new phase in a continuing

study by scientists of the Department of Supply's Antarctic Division..

Much of this research has taken place, over a number of

years, at the Law dome near Casey. This dome, about 3, 800 ft. high

and 150 miles across, is a microcosm of the 14, 000 ft. -high ice dome

which covers 5.4 million square miles of the Antarctic continent.

By repeated determination of the size, shape and mass

of the Law dome, Australian scientists have shown that it is subsiding.

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A study of this dome will lead to a better understanding

of the main dome, the stability of which is not yet known.

The new drilling operations will increase our knowledge of

the internal temperature and movement of ice masses, and the

interdependence of those factors.

Studies of the ice cores, recovered from the holes, will

give the history and age of the ice over thousands of years.

The two-man team will remain in the field almost

continuously throughout 1969, at distances up to 70 miles from Casey.

They will spend long periods at each drilling site.

SYDNEY . June 2. 1969 .