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

Situation Report #3, 4. December 2021

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Olivier Delanoe (IPEV), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Calogero Monaco (ENEA), Anthony Pauty (IPEV), Philippe Possenti (IPEV), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Gregory Teste (IGE)

Personnel @DC: Carlo Barbante (ISP-CNR, PI), Giacomo Bonanno (ENEA), Olivier Alemany (IGE), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Weather at LDC 5 pm: sunny Meteo at DC 5 pm: T = −34°C, Wind = 6.5 knt, Wind Chill T = −45°C

Today, at 10.35 (GMT+8) local time, the first firn core was pulled out at the Little Dome C site marking the successful start of the field work of Beyond EPICA Oldest ice project. CONGRATULATIONS! During the past 10 days the technical crew of BEOIC has worked hard to open the camp, clean the working surfaces in the camp from excessive accumulation, install power lines from the new BEOIC generator, and finally prepare the camp for the rest of the BEOIC crew, including the RADIX team. Work was particularly enduring due to the harsh weather conditions at the site with temperatures below −60°C. During the last three days the drillers assembled the IGE-Firn Drill and successfully retrieved the first 2 m. In the next few days, the drill will work its way down to about 120 m depth to reach the ice.

Drilling depth at the end of the day: 49.7 m

Today we were treated to a spectacular partial solar eclipse. Just stepping out of Concordia Station, mounting the official BEOIC camera system (Leica SL2, SL2S), and waiting for the maximum. At that moment, one could actually stay outside without sunglasses due to the reduced light.

Thomas Stocker and Carlo Barbante