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

Situation Report #42, 12. January 2022

Personnel @LDC: Saverio Panichi (ENEA, Camp Leader), Carlo Barbante (ISP-CNR, PI), Olivier Alemany (IGE), Romain Duphil (IGE), Matthias Hüther (AWI), Calogero Monaco (ENEA), Philippe Possenti (IGE), Michele Scalet (ENEA), Jakob Schwander (unibe), Thomas Stocker (unibe), Remo Walther (unibe)

Weather at LDC: sunny, wind, afternoon covered, quite cold

Meteo at DC 6 pm: T = −38°C, Wind = 5 knt, Wind Chill T = −48°C

The final assembly of the BEOIC drill has been stopped as some problems still persist. Therefore, the actual drilling of the first meters of the BEOIC ice core below 130 meters depth will start in the coming season 2022/2023. Today preparations for wintering the camp have started. This consists of disassembling some electronics which will be brought back to Dome C and the compilation of freight lists.

At RADIX, we have brought back to the surface our reaming drill head that unscrewed during operation (see photo). Relief! A few hours before, we were shocked when we pulled up the drill shaft and noticed that something was missing. Fortunately, this piece sat upright at about 270 meters depth. Hope was low, but perseverance is a virtue in Antarctica. Lowering down our drill without a head but gently rotating, this piece could be screwed on again and brought to the surface. For the RADIX team this was a première, and we were most relieved!

RADIX drilling depth: 300.0 m

Thomas Stocker and Carlo Barbante