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Rodwell #2 - Meltwater Plant for Getting Freshwater
South Pole Station - Antarctica

Rodwell #2 (the blue building) and Hazardous Waste (the orange tent). Rodwell #2 was the operating Rodwell at the time. Rodwells were designed by an engineer named Rodriguez when working for the US military in Greenland in the 1950's.

The idea is to start with a little water (melted snow or such), heat it up, then push it down into the ice to melt the ice. The resulting water is returned to the surface, where it is heated again and a portion sent back below to continue the process, while the rest can be used. Over time, there is a big hollowed out hole under the ice, and eventually it is no longer efficient to use that well, so the rig is moved to another spot. Rodwell #2, and #3 under construction, are intended to be partly mobile. For continuous service, at least two buildings will be required. A Rodwell at the South Pole can provide water for the station for about 7 years.

Nov 2007

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This picture published courtesy of Alan Light - This picture is in the public domain.
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