Greenland Icecore Project (GRIP)

More about the Programme

The goal of GRIP was to retrieve and analyse a 3000m long ice core drilled through the Greenland ice sheet at its highest point, Summit. The objective of this effort is to reveal the broad spectrum of information on past environmental, and particularly climatic, changes that are stored in the ice.

Although the actual drilling was completed in 1992, there was a last short field campaign in Greenland and at Summit to measure ice sheet strain parameters and to extend upward the GRIP hole so that detailed temperature and deformation measurements will still be possible. Using the experience accumulated through GRIP and the facilities of this last campaign, the successful development and testing of a special drill for the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (EPICA) was also carried out. This new European drill will be able to operate in the much harsher environmental conditions to be found at Dome Concordia in Antarctica.


In the first drilling season in 1990, the drill reached a depth of 770m where the ice is 3840 years old. In 1991, the drilling continued into 40.000 years old ice at a depth of 2521m, and on 12 August 1992, the drill hit bedrock at 3029m below the surface, where the ice is 200.000 years old or more. The core is now stored in a coldhouse at the University of Copenhagen.

The GRIP deep drill is an updated version of ISTUK (IS = ice in Danish, TUK = drill in Greenlander). ISTUK was constructed in 1978 and used successfully under the American-Danish-Swiss GISP 1 program at Dye 3 in South Greenland where it bedrock at a depth of 2037m in 1981.

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A list of GRIP publications, linked to abstracts, may be consulted here Go to Website

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Programme management

Steering Committee chaired by Professor Bernhard Stauffer ; (Physikalisches Institut der Universit├Ąt Bern, Switzerland).

7 contributing organisations.

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