Little Dome C - Beyond EPICA Oldest Ice Drilling Site (75.29917 °S, 122.44516 °E) – Season 2022/23

Situation Report #22bis, Saturday 24 December 2022

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Frank Wilhelms (AWI, Chief Driller), Robert Mulvaney (BAS, Chief Scientist), Giuditta Celli (UNIVE, ISP), Romily Harris Stuart (LSCE), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Gunther Lawer (AWI), Johannes Lemburg (AWI), Martin Leonhardt (AWI), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Julian Westhoff (NBI), Andrea de Vito (ENEA)

Personnel @DC: Markus Grimmer (UNIBE), Florian Krauß (UNIBE)

Weather at LDC 5 pm: sunny, 3-4 knots

Meteo at DC 5 pm: T = −36°C, Wind = SW, 5 knots, Wind Chill T = −48°C

Christmas Eve: a time for celebration in the camp.

Drilling began soon after 0800 today as usual. But there was an additional task this morning: loading up 20 boxes of ice cores on a trailer to be moved to Concordia Station for our two core processors Markus and Florian to make their measurements and split some of the cores into sections for transport to Europe for further analysis. We moved the core boxes out of the cold store (three 20-foot shipping containers linked end to end, and buried about 2m beneath the ice surface), and up the steep slope to the waiting cargo sledge. Each box contains six cores, each one meter long, with a core box weighing about 50 kg.

By 08.30, Saverio and Michele left the camp bound for Concordia. Saverio was driving the Caterpillar Challenger tractor unit pulling an empty 5000 L fuel tank, and the cargo sledge with the ice cores. Following up behind was Michele in the PistenBully 300. While not pulling a cargo sledge, Michele’s role was to groom the ice roadway to Concordia after the passage of the Challenger and towed sledges churn up the ice surface, making it difficult for the Arctic Truck to drive along later.

Later in the afternoon, Michele and Saverio returned, bring our colleagues Florian and Markus from Concordia to stay with us over the Christmas period. Visitors for Christmas!

Drilling ended for the day at 18.00, and it was time to change into Christmas jumpers, or smart clothes and a Santa hat, in time for the big Christmas Eve meal. Saverio served up a grand meal over the next few hours, with delicacies such as smoked salmon, New Zealand Green-Lipped mussels, prawns, with rosti, and potato croquets; a choice of seafood soup or onion soup with toasted bread; moules (in a tangy sauce) et frites. Deserts were a traditional Italian Pandoro, then a honey-glazed cake with chocolate and strawberry ice cream (home made at Concordia), and a Sbrisolona (typical of Mantova) tart that had to be eaten with a sweet Santo Spirito wine. Naturally there was a selection of drinks, including beer, red wine, Aperol Spritz, and to celebrate Christmas Day itself at midnight, a sparkling Italian wine.

Mid-evening Saverio acted as Santa Claus and handed out presents for us all: a BE-OIC T-shirt, an insulated steel mug with an etched BE-OIC logo, and a set of BE-OIC stickers. Well – we’re all here for the same reason!

End of day statistics:

Individual runs of the drill were recorded as: 3.02, 2.50, 2.82, 2.69, 2.22, 2.51, 2.5m

  • Drillers’ depth: 310.34 m; daily total 18.87 m
  • Loggers’ depth: 315.48 m; daily total 18.60 m
  • Processors’ depth: 128.0 m; daily total 0.0 m

Rob Mulvaney & Frank Wilhelms - LDC, 26.12.2022

Situation Report #22, 24 December 2022

Personnel @LDC: Romain Duphil (IGE), Romilly Harris-Stuart (LSCE), Gunther Lawer (AWI), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Julien Westhof (UCPH), Martin Leonhardt (AWI), Frank Wilhelms (AWI), Giuditta Celli (UNIVE, ISP), Johannes Lemburg (AWI), Rob Mulvaney (BAS), Saverio Panichi (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Andrea Devito (ENEA)

Personnel @DC: Markus Grimmer (UNIBE), Florian Krauß (UNIBE)

Weather at LDC 5 pm: --

Meteo at DC 5 pm: T = −°C, Wind = - knt, Wind Chill T = − °C

What we did today:

- undertook 7 runs between 08:30 and 17:30: 1st 3.09 m; 2nd 2.49 m; 3rd 2.82 m; 4th 2.69 m; 5th 2.22 m; 6th 2.51 m; 7th 2.57 m

- loaded 20 core boxes onto sledge to DC

- filed 4m-drill outer barrel

  • Drillers depth: 310.34 m DeltaD: 18.87 m
  • Logger depth: 315.48 m DeltaD: 18.60 m
  • Processors depth: 128 m DeltaD: 0 m

Frank Wilhelms & Rob Mulvaney - LDC, 24.12.2022