Situation Report #23, 11. January 2020

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: morning fog, sunny, weak wind

Tonight we enjoy the last dinner of the complete BELDC Team at the site, as tomorrow Luc and Riccardo will leave from BELDC and return to Dome C. We have had an excellent 23 days together with a great team spirit and purpose to prepare a good and solid foundation for the next season when the deep drilling of the EU Project Beyond EPICA: Oldest Ice will begin. The next team will find a spacious drilling tent with a complete trench, 6 m deep, safety railings and grand doors to move in the heavy equipment. Two sleeping tents and a recreation tent with a large table and two benches await the next crew.

The remaining BELDC Team will continue working with Radix and the GPS network around BELDC. At Radix we have drilled another 6 meters with good chip production and autonomous pull. However, we note that the current configuration operates at the limit, and the pull of the Radix drill is very fragile and is easily disturbed. Our attention now focusses on the overpressure valve which needs to be put to some higher pressure. Radix drilling depth: 166.0 m.

LDC, 11.1.2020