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

Situation Report #24; Monday 26 December 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: cloudy, slight snowfall, 3-4 knots, 643 hPa

Meteo at DC 5 pm: T = −32°C, Wind = NW, 5 knots, Wind Chill T = −42°C

Waving goodbye, new barrels, and snowfall

Today we had to wave goodbye to our colleagues from Bern (Florian and Markus) who had been staying with us for Christmas and who must now return to Concordia Station to continue work on the cores that we drill and deliver to them. The Arctic Truck with Vito and Franco arrived soon after breakfast, and after watching a run of the drill, returned to Concordia with Markus and Florian.

Drilling began at 08.00 – the Christmas holiday is over now. After the first two shifts of the day, it was time to change to the new AWI long barrels, which once tuned and running well have the potential to drill 4 m long ice cores, which would be the longest cores yet drilled by European teams.

As with all major changes like this, it will take a few runs to get used to the new configuration, and to how hard we can press the drill motor to overcome the greater friction of the longer barrels.

Today was also a day of cloud and very light snowfall – we had a sprinkling of snow inside the drill tent which had fallen through the opening in the roof (for the drill tower). Ice crystals in the atmosphere gave us a nice halo around the sun.

End of day statistics:

Individual runs of the drill were recorded as: 2.39, 2.68, 2.87, 2.95, 3.30, 2.70 /change barrels/ 2.16, 3.52, 2.90 m

  • Drillers’ depth: 354.98 m; daily total 25.56 m
  • Loggers’ depth: 359.82 m; daily total 25.42 m
  • Processors’ depth: 128.0 m; daily total 0.0 m

Rob Mulvaney & Frank Wilhelms - LDC, 28.12.2022