Situation Report #18, 6. January 2020

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

Personnel: Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Weather: sunny, weak wind

In the morning the delegation of four took off for Dome C to return packing material of the drilling tent and bring back the floors of the sleeping and recreation tents to LDC.

We were relieved that the Radix drill yielded under the tension that we applied during the last night and could be pulled up to the surface. As a safety measure we have shortened the centre drill in order to facilitate the breaking free in future cases of blocking. We also measured the grip of the antitorque in an ice block cooled down to ‒45 °C by lowering it into the BELDC drilling trench, our natural laboratory. Some difficulties at the initiation of drilling in the borehole were noticed. By adjusting the pressure relief valve and optimizing several parameters of our drilling procedure we managed to obtain a better start of the the drilling. Radix drilling depth: 144 m.

LDC, 6.1.2020