Written by William G. Handlos, P.E.
Customers are always coming up with new applications for our GEOBLOCK® Turf Protection System, but the University of Wisconsin-Madison just took it to another level. In early 2014, their Space Science and Engineering Center purchased the GEOBLOCK® pavers to aid in staging their ice coring drills in Greenland and Antarctica.
The GEOBLOCK® system was utilized for two specific applications. The first was for a footer under the frame of the drill tent(s). This application allowed the weight of the drill tent building to be distributed across the snow’s surface and provide support. Due to the GEOBLOCK® system’s rigid design and load transfer tabs, the same characteristics that make it a strong, durable turf protection system, also delivered value over snow.
In the second application, the GEOBLOCK® units served as a flooring system inside the drill tent. Researchers liked the grid surface as it provided a non-skid surface and easy installation at sub-zero temperatures (-40°F). The rigid design also wasn’t affected by on-site drilling fluids (due to the non-reactive and inert polyethylene construction).
Researchers also capitalized on the light-weight design and reusability. The remote location required air-lifting the material and hand construction. The GEOBLOCK® system proved it can deliver results, even in the most extreme conditions.