Geodiscovery / Antarctica / ANDRILL International

Scientific Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) International

ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing): International study to recover stratigraphic data from the Antarctic margin

ANDRILL is a multinational collaboration comprised of more than 200 scientists, students, and educators from seven nations (Brazil, Germany, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States) to recover stratigraphic records from the Antarctic margin using Cape Roberts Project (CRP) technology. The chief objective is to drill back in time to recover a history of paleoenvironmental changes that will guide our understanding of how fast, how large, and how frequent were glacial and interglacial changes in the Antarctica region. Future scenarios of global warming require guidance and constraint from past history that will reveal potential timing frequency and site of future changes.

ANDRILL Science & Drilling Operations

The ANDRILL Program seeks to understand the Cenozoic to Recent history of Antarctica ( ~ 65 million years). The primary goal is to recover long stratigraphic records from proximal locations along the continental margins of Antarctica by drilling from ice shelf or sea ice platform supporting the drill rig and related systems. The first two ANDRILL projects, McMurdo Ice Shelf (MIS) and Southern McMurdo Sound (SMS), were successfully drilled during the 2006-07 and 2007-08 Antarctic field seasons. The samples recovered by the MIS Project are from ~ 13 million years ago to the present day; and the samples recovered by the SMS Project are from ~ 20 million years ago to the present day. The results of these projects are currently being analyzed by the scientific community.

The Coulman High Project (CHP) is ANDRILL's newest and most ambitious project yet. ANDRILL intends to drill into the Coulman High near the seaward edge of the Ross Ice Shelf. 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). Recovery of the targeted strata will provide a new, high-quality stratigraphic record from a period when atmospheric CO2 was comparable to concentrations projected for the next century.