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.

The work is supported by the Natural Environment Research Council, Alfred-Wegener-Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, National Science Foundation (NSF-2035029, 2034719, 2034883, 2034990, 2034999, 2035035, and 2035138), German Research Foundation (grants KU 4292/1-1, MU 3670/3-1, KL 3314/4-1), Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Korea Polar Research Institute, National Institute of Polar Research, Antarctic Science Platform (ANTA1801), Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics, AuScope, and the Australian and New Zealand IODP Consortium.

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.

Logistical support comes from Antarctica New Zealand (K862A-2324, K862A-2425) in collaboration with the United States Antarctic Program. Drilling is funded and supported by the International Continental Scientific Drilling Project.

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 Levy
Co-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.