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first_imgThe longevity and extent of the oceanic southern margin of Gondwana have made it the subject of intense study for more than 70 years. It was one of the cradles of terrane theory and remains a proving ground for theories of supercontinent amalgamation and break-up. Investigation of processes on this margin, such as accretionary orogenesis and terrane analysis, is vital to our understanding of the Proterozoic and Phanerozoic evolution of the continental crust. In this special issue of Gondwana Research, entitled “The West Gondwana Margin: Proterozoic to Mesozoic”, we have assembled 9 research papers addressing various aspects of the evolution of the West Gondwana margin, first presented at the international meeting ‘Gondwana 12 (Geological and Biological Heritage of Gondwana)’, held in Mendoza, Argentina, in November 2005. Many concern southern South America, which has a fairly continuous Proterozoic to Mesozoic geological record.last_img read more

first_imgThe paleoclimate community has an interest in distributed subglacial bedrock sampling but, while capable drill systems do exist, they are often incompatible with Twin Otter logistics. To address this issue, a design built on the existing low footprint ice-sampler, the Rapid Access Isotope Drill (RAID) is investigated. The new device will retain key features of the parent system, but the ice drilling elements of the RAID will be replaced by a self-contained rotary-percussive core-drill capable of penetrating ice-consolidated and rocky terrain at and below the ice/rock interface. This new front-end will only be deployed once the interface itself has been attained, providing a pristine core sample from the underlying terrain. The proposed Percussive Rapid Access Isotope Drill (P-RAID) has been inspired by planetary drilling technologies to allow autonomous operations at the bottom of the hole. This paper details the development and testing of the proof-of-concept hardware. The mechanical and electrical design challenges encountered, and the results obtained from a series of prolonged cold chamber tests will be discussed, alongside lessons learned from initial testing in Antarctica.last_img read more