The camp consists of one wooden structure, the Main Dome, and a number of tents and subsurface facilities. The advantage of using a dome instead of a rectangular building is that the snow does not pile up around a dome, meaning that the crew has to remove less snow when opening camp in the spring or after a storm. The dome has 2-3 floors, a lower floor with kitchen, eating facilities, shower and toilet, and 1-2 upper floors with office, communication facilities, living area, and a sleeping area. However, most people sleep in robust tents that are erected every spring and taken down again at the end of season.
At the NEEM drill site, the dome has 3 floors, and from the top level office, one has a great view over the camp:
The ice core drilling operation and the core handling and measurements take place below the surface. Big trenches are dug out with a snow blowing machine and covered with a light weight wooden roof. This solution has the advantage that only materials for the roof and floor need to be transported to the camp, which is an important issue when everything has to be flown in by airplane. Also, the temperature in the trenches is constantly around -20°C, which is crucial for good preservation of the ice cores.
The ice core drill and the camp are powered by a diesel generator. The diesel for this has to be flown in by plane. The camp water supply comes from melting of snow using the excess heat produced by the generator.
Ice Core Drilling Projects