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

Situation Report #49, 19. January 2022

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Carlo Barbante (ISP-CNR, PI), Calogero Monaco (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Weather at LDC: sunny, some wind

Meteo at DC 6 pm: T = −38°C, Wind = 5 knt, Wind Chill T = −46°C

Final Sitrep of Season 2021/2022

To commemorate this season, Saverio treated us, one more time, to an excellent meal: Salmone al Forno and Spinaci, and as a sweet a nice Crostata al Limone. Before dinner, there was an apéro consisting of Campari Spritz, and Pastis and Foie Gras, the latter a habit that we took over from our French colleagues who have left Little Dome C a few days earlier.

Today we have loaded all cargo of RADIX for retrograding to Dome Concordia. We have also removed most of the remaining drilling liquid of the RADIX borehole. The 130 m casing was also hauled up by Jakob and Remo for the recovery of the packer. All came out smoothly but at a great expense of muscle power. The almost 2 tons of material, neatly packed into 31 boxes and items were lifted onto the sledge by the Pistenbully crane.

We are looking back at a very successful and safe season during which we have achieved almost all goals defined before. In particular, we have prepared Little Dome C to be a fully functional camp for the coming season 2022/2023, when the first BEOIC deep ice core will be retrieved (Pandemic permitting). Tons of infrastructure, material and electronic equipment have been installed during the past 8 weeks. This is thanks to all colleagues working hard at LDC, those supporting us in Dome C, and at the two stations Dumont d’Urville and Mario Zucchelli. Our only regret is that we were not able to fully test the BEOIC drill and that RADIX, although reaching the deepest ever, did not make it deeper into the Antarctic ice sheet.

Finally, on behalf of the entire science community of Beyond EPICA Oldest Ice we would like to express our deep gratitude to all who have supported us: The European Commission, ENEA, IPEV, the Swiss National Science Foundation, the Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco (RADIX), the Science Foundations and universities of the participating nations, the staff and colleagues at Dome Concordia, the BEOIC management support team, and Leica and Vitec for excellent photographic equipment fit for Antarctica.

Thomas Stocker and Carlo Barbante