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

Situation Report #17, 18. December 2021

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Olivier Alemany (IGE), Giacomo Bonanno (ENEA), David Brunet (IPEV), Romain Duphil (IGE), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Philippe Possenti (IGE), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Personnel @DC: Gregory Teste (IGE), Carlo Barbante (ISP-CNR, PI), Calogero Monaco (ENEA), Anthony Pauty (IPEV), Michele Scalet (ENEA)

Weather at LDC 9 pm: vertically sunny, horizontal visibility low

Meteo at DC 9 pm: T = −29°C, Wind = 15 knt, Wind Chill T = −43°C

On Saturdays, usually work slows down in the camp. Today, we had again high winds, particularly in the afternoon. This chilled anybody working outside for more than 15 minutes. Particular attention must be paid to exposed skin (nose tip, cheeks close to sun glasses, etc.) as these parts can get cold very quickly. If exposed for too long, the consequences are felt for several weeks after (writing of own experience).

The reaming of the BEOIC hole has now reached 91 m with cleaning down to 122 m. This means many runs up and down the hole – hard work for the drillers. The various functions of the motor of the BEOIC winch were tested and verified.

BEOIC drilling depth at the end of the day: 128.0 m

At RADIX we have lowered the casing into the hole and inflated the packer keeping the casing tight. Leak tests have been performed and preparations for the wet drilling can start tomorrow. This involves setting up a number of new devices (motor of the winch, high-pressure pump, fluid recycling system, connecting tubes). We have also placed the 450 kg drum with the hydraulic 3.2 km-hose onto the winch by help of Michele and the Pistenbully and Fassi crane.

Radix drilling depth: 107.6 m

Thomas Stocker and Carlo Barbante