SWAIS 2C is an international initiative involving researchers from New Zealand, the United States, Germany, Australia, Italy, Japan, Spain, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Aotearoa New Zealand participation is supported through the Antarctic Science Platform’s Ice Dynamics Project.
Project operations are supported through funds from New Zealand, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Italy, and the Republic of Korea. Support is also provided by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Programme (ICDP) via a grant for US$1.2 million dollars. This project is the first in Antarctica for ICDP. Total project operations and logistics will cost US$5.4 million. Around 35 international research organisations are collaborating on the project.
Antarctic field operations are scheduled to begin in November 2022 and will continue through 2024. More than 100 researchers are involved in the project, including 25 early-career researchers.
SWAIS2C Operating Parties are the organizations responsible for implementing the project:
SWAIS2C Project Manager: GNS Science
SWAIS2C Antarctic Project Operator: Antarctica New Zealand
SWAIS2C Drilling Services Provider: Victoria University of Wellington
Getting this kind of project off the ground takes the blood, sweat and tears of a lot of people from around the world. Our proposed approach to this drilling is novel and risky, but it’s the only way we are going to get those critical samples. If we can pull this off and prove the concept, it will open up new opportunities to obtain key records of environmental change and ice sheet dynamics at other remote locations across Antarctica. This comprehensive sampling approach will allow us to build a much better picture of how Antarctic ice will respond to warming, which parts will melt first, and which parts will remain. This knowledge is critical as humanity grapples with the challenge of sea level rise. Dr Richard LevyCo-Chief Scientist
Our International research community have invested significant effort and funding in the project and are relying on Victoria University of Wellington and GNS Science to deliver the drilling system. Daleen Koch, Project Manager
GNS Science is the Project Manager and will provide Project Management for overall planning and execution of on-ice and off-ice Project activities. In carrying out its Project Management role it will coordinate with the Antarctic Project Operator and the Drilling Services Provider.
Te Herenga Waka - Victoria University of Wellington is the Drilling Services Provider (Drilling Operator) for the Project. As such, it is responsible for all aspects of the drilling and core recovery. Victoria University of Wellington will subcontract specific services for aspects of the drilling and core recovery as required and, together, they will develop the Drilling Operations and the Drilling Health and Safety plans. In planning for and carrying out the provision of Drilling services in Antarctica, the Drilling Services Provider will coordinate with the Antarctica Project Operator.
Antarctica New Zealand is the Antarctic Project Operator for the Project and the State Operator for the purposes of the Antarctic (Environmental Protection) Act 1994 and Annex IV to the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty. It provides Antarctic logistics, planning and operational services, including camp establishment and operation, over-ice traverse, fuel (for transport, drilling and camp operation), air support, and the support of drilling and science operations in Antarctica.
Operational services will also be supplied through collaborations with the United States Antarctic Program in support of SWAIS 2C.