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

Situation Report #30, 31. December 2021

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Carlo Barbante (ISP-CNR, PI), Philippe Possenti (IGE), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Personnel @DC: Gregory Teste (IGE), Olivier Alemany (IGE), Romain Duphil (IGE), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Calogero Monaco (ENEA), Michele Scalet (ENEA)

Weather at LDC: sunny, low wind – pleasant day

Meteo at DC 6 pm: T = −35°C, Wind = 5 knt, Wind Chill T = −38°C

In hope of a thrilling year-end party five colleagues have left us towards Dome C this morning (Olivier, Romain, Matthias, Calogero, and Michele). We do not know yet when they will come back but we assume it will depend on both the duration of the party over there, as well as on their stamina. We therefore hold the Little Dome C camp with a reduced number of staff and enjoy the tranquillity during this day of fair and calm weather.

Most work today did Saverio. He has spared no effort to treat us to a truly exceptional Sylvester dinner. It started slowly with an Apéro riche featuring Foie Gras (thanks, Romain!), Smoked Salmon, and Spritz. After a while, Saverio and Philippe appeared with a tray of freshly fried Baby Squid, a dish which disappeared within minutes. Between the courses we were all busy exchanging wishes with our loved ones back home and friends around the world. At the time of writing this sitrep, Saverio offered another dish: Spaghetti Marinara (see photo for details). There will be more …

Phillipe has further tested the shallow drill behind the drilling tent and retrieved 25 meters of firn core.

At RADIX, we were able to drill just 2 meters when we encountered serious clogging of the flow control valve. Several hours of analyses lead to the conclusion that the small particles must be fragments of some very fine coating from the interior of the hydraulic tube that occasionally gets into the flow. Remo and Jakob then took the afternoon to design and machine a filter that could be put into the RADIX drill. This new element will be tested tomorrow.

Radix drilling depth: 252.0 m

With an impressive view from above we wish our readers a Happy New Year!

Thomas Stocker and Carlo Barbante