Is there a particular reason, why the Icecube experiment has been installed at the South pole and not at the North pole?

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    $\begingroup$ The biggest reason is probably because the North Pole is in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. The IceCube laboratory was able to be installed 1 kilometer below the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet because the depth of the ice sheet goes down almost 3 kilometers, and below that is solid land. At the North Pole, the ice is a mere 10 feet thick in most places before you hit liquid water, and even that 10 feet might melt altogether come summertime. $\endgroup$
    – David H
    May 26 '14 at 12:39

This is how the north pole looks:

north pole

The sea ice at the North Pole is typically around 2 to 3 m (6 ft 7 in to 9 ft 10 in) thick.

and this is how the south pole looks :

south pole

The ice is estimated to be about 2,700 metres (9,000 ft) thick at the Pole, so the land surface under the ice sheet is actually near sea level.2

This is the ice cube neutrino observatory


So the Ice Cube could not have been done at the north pole due to the lack of thickness of ice. The glaciers in Greenland are not wide enough where they are thick enough for such a large experiment.

An extra reason is the clarity of ice necessary too. Have a look at their FAQ.

  • $\begingroup$ I read the FAQ. They need a dark place that is full of clear water ice. Does it have to be ice? Why wouldn't the deep ocean work? Is it easier to work in the Antarctic than the ocean? $\endgroup$
    – mmesser314
    May 26 '14 at 14:23
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    $\begingroup$ @mmesser314: It's been tried. I don't think it worked too well, though I must admit I don't know a lot about this area. $\endgroup$ May 26 '14 at 14:34
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    $\begingroup$ @JohnRennie there is a plan for a kilometer cube neutrino experiment in the Mediterranean that keeps being put off due to the crisis. km3net.org/home.php.There exist some prototype detectors off Marseille and Pylos which did not do much for the field . Also one of old technology in Hawai I think. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    May 26 '14 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ From the FAQ of the experiment: "The South Pole is the one place on Earth that holds such large quantities of clear, pure, and stable ice and has the infrastructure to support scientific research" note the "and has the infrastructure.." For a water experiment in the depths one also has to build the infrastructure from scratch, from power to the experiment to living quarters or in sity labs for the experimenters. Also sea water (salt) is hard to work with and even at huge depths contains luminous bits of life (they can be programmed against of course). Also it is very easy to make holes $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    May 27 '14 at 4:11
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    $\begingroup$ in the ice whereas the pressures at 4000 meters are tremendous in trying to keep water out of the detectors. $\endgroup$
    – anna v
    May 27 '14 at 4:12

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