Situation Report #7, 26. December 2019
Little Dome C - Beyond EPICA Drilling Site (75.29917 degS, 122.44516 degE)
Personnel: Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Luc Piard (CNRS), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe), Massimo Frezzotti (U Roma 3), Riccardo Devescovi (Armi)
Weather at 8 am: sunny
Today is a day to celebrate for the entire BELDC crew. After erecting 12 arches the team assembled the aluminum frame for the drilling tower opening at the tent summit. In a delicate action involving all hands, this frame was lifted by the Pistenbully crane and fixed in its place. With this the frame of the BELDC drilling tent is approaching its final form.
The Radix Team also reached their first mile stone by drilling through the complete firn to a depth of
107.7 m, safely below the porous layers. At this depth the age of the ice is estimated to be about 2930 years old. We reached this depth not before overcoming several obstacles. One was the recovery of a piece of insulation tape which escaped its place, installed itself on the bore hole floor and so prevented further penetration of the drill. Jakob's sensitive handling of the Radix firn drill succeeded in pulling the culprit to the surface.