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Title: Project Mint Julep : investigation of a smooth ice area of the Greenland ice cap
Authors: Air University (U.S.). Arctic, Desert, and Tropic Information Center
American Geographical Society of New York
United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. New England Division
Keywords: Airfields
Snow runways
Ice runways
Ice cap
Ice sheet
Glacier ice
Cold weather construction
Publisher: Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory (U.S.)
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical report (Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory (U.S.)) ; no. 50-51.
Description: Technical Report
Summary: In the summer of 1953 the Arctic Construction and Frost Effects Laboratory participated in Project Mint Julep, an investigation on the Greenland Ice Cap led by the American Geographical Society under contract with the Air University, U, S. Air Force, for the purpose of continuing investigations of the construction and maintenance of airfields on the Ice Cap begun in 1947 on Project Snowman. The area of study was located on the west slope of the Ice Cap, at the 65th parallel, approximately 90 miles east-southeast of Sondrestrom AFB (BW-8), Greenland. An area 6 miles wide in the north-south direction and extending approximately 10 miles east and west of the apparent firn line was investigated. In the west part of this area hard ice became exposed by ablation during the summer. At the eastern limit of the area summer thawing of the snow cover was slight and hard glacial ice was not encountered. Near the firn line, the snow surface was subject to intense thaw in summer and became too soft for C-47 ski-wheeled operations for a time. The area was evaluated for feasibility of operation of wheeled aircraft. Several possible airstrip sites were selected and observed. It is concluded that runways for wheeled aircraft can be constructed and maintained on ice surfaces near the firn line for ten to eleven months of the year in the present state of knowledge of snow and ice mechanics. In areas of substantial snow cover above the firn line snow compaction procedures are necessary for construction of runways. This report presents the tests conducted, results of tests, conclusions based on tests and recommendations for further investigations.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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