Situation Report #28, 16. January 2020

Little Dome C - Beyond EPICA Drilling Site (75.29917 degS, 122.44516 degE)

Personnel: Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe), Massimo Frezzotti (U Roma 3)

Weather: sunny, moderate winds

House keeping and preparation for the wintering over of the modules continues. The sleeping tents have been secured for high winds during the Antarctic winter and Michele has made a nice flat "Piazza Little Dome C" with the Pistenbully. This preparation will result in a very solid ground for heavy work next season.

The Radix Team has used the past hours to digest the unvoluntary deviation drilling, and we have discussed various intersting and valuable options for the months to come. This afternoon we have started to clean the bore hole. Our goal is to recover the drilling fluid and thus minimize our impact on the Antarctic environment. This is done by lowering the hydraulic tube that is equipped with an inflatable membrane at its tip. Once placed at the bottom of the hole, the tube is connected with a compressor which inflates the membrane and exerts pressure on the fluid column from below. As the membrane slowly moves up, a geysir effect is initiated and the fluid can be readily recovered at the surface and be used for future drilling.

LDC, 16.1.2020