ANDRILL: Antarctic geological drilling
Operations overview for the ANDRILL McMurdo Ice Shelf Project, Antarctica.
Falconer, T., Pyne, A., Levy, R., Olney, M., Curren, M., and the ANDRILL-MIS Science Team., 2007.

ANDRILL's success during the 4th International Polar Year.
Florindo, F., Harwood, D., Levy, R., and SMS Project Science Team, 2008.

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ANDRILL Drilling System link
ANDRILL intends to drill into the Coulman High near the seaward edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. Two sites were identified on high resolution seismic profiles (below image) collected in 2003 following the calving event of the giant iceberg C-19. Proposed drill sites will target an early Oligocene (23-34 million years ago) section draped over a faulted basement that contains Eocene and older Cenozoic strata (> 34 million years ago).
CH seismic profiles
Important questions that will be addressed include:
What was the early history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS)?
What was West Antarctica like in a greenhouse world?
What is the early tectonic history of the Ross Sea?
What is the marine inundation history of the Ross Embayment?
How stable is the present WAIS?
The MIS project drilled to a record-breaking depth of 1284.87 meters below the sea floor (mbsf), with more than 98% rock core recovery. The ANDRILL drill rig was staged on an 85 meter-thick ice shelf floating over 850 meters of water. Analyses of the rock cores indicate substantial glacial/interglacial climatic variation over the past ~6 million years, revealing the history of the WAIS. This information is incorporated into dynamic glacial and climate models, providing improved model resolution for better future predictions. >> Learn more about the MIS project.
ANDRIL aerial view
The SMS project collected 1137.84 meters of rock core with greater than 98% recovery. Results include important insights into the history of Antarctica's ice sheets during the Mid-Miocene Climatic Optimum (15 to 18 million years ago), a period much warmer than today. The cores reveal past climate changes, vegetation, and sea level history. >> Learn more about the SMS project.
More than 120 scientists, drillers, engineers, educators, students and support staff from partner nations were involved in each McMurdo Sound drilling project.