BE-OI Publications

# 6: Promising Oldest Ice sites in East Antarctica based on thermodynamical modelling

Paper by Brice Van Liefferinge and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-2017-276

# 5: Glaciological characteristics in the Dome Fuji region and new assessment for 1.5 Ma old ice

Paper by Nanna Karlsson and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-2017-258

# 4: Brief communication: Candidate sites of 1.5 Myr old ice 37 km southwest of the Dome C summit, East Antarctica

Paper by Olivier Passalacqua and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-2018-19

# 3: Accumulation patterns around Dome C, East Antarctica, in the last 73 kyrs

Paper by Marie G.P. Cavitte and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-12-1401-2018

# 2: Is there 1.5 million-year old ice near Dome C, Antarctica?

Paper by Frédéric Parrenin and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-2017-69

# 1: Geothermal heat flux and basal melt rate in the Dome C region inferred from radar reflectivity and thermal modelling

Paper by Olivier Passalacqua and others in "The Cryosphere" doi: 10.5194/tc-2017-23

Publications with BE-OI contribution

High resolution boundary conditions of an old ice target near Dome C, Antarctica

Paper by Young and others in "The Cryosphere", doi: 10.5194/tc-2016-169

Publications of relevance for BE-OI objectives

Where to find 1.5 million year old ice for the IPICS "Oldest-Ice" ice core?

Paper by Fischer and others in "Climate of the Past", 9, 2489-2505, 2013, which lays the foundation for BE-OI's search strategy.

The SUBGLACIOR drilling probe: concept and design

Paper by Alemany and others in "Annals of Glaciology" 55(68), 2014, doi: 10.3189/2014AoG68A026, which describes the principle concept and design of the SUBGLACIOR drilling probe.

Deep radiostratigraphy of the East Antarctic plateau: connecting the Dome C and Vostok ice core sites

Paper by Cavitte and others in "Journal of Glaciology", Volume 62, Issue 232, April 2016, pp. 323-334

Radar stratigraphy connecting Lake Vostok and Dome C, East Antarctica, constrains the EPICA/DMC ice core time scale

Paper by Cavitte and others in "The Cryosphere Discuss.", 7, 321-342, doi: 10.5194/tcd-7-321-2013

Critical porosity of gas enclosure in polar firn independent of climate

Paper by Schaller others in "Climate of the Past", 13, 1685-1693, 2017, showing that the critical porosity is a climate-independent constant.

Additions to article in Nature News

In the NatureNews arcticle "Speedy Antarctic drills start hunt for Earth’s oldest ice" the ongoing international activities for finding 1.5 Ma old ice were covered. Here we provide some additions to this article, as we had several requests on further details:

Q: Will the UK RAID drill retrieve the "Oldest Ice" in December 2016?

A: No. It will drill a 600 m deep hole, in which we can determine some of the ice properties like temperature, in addition to analysing the ice drill chips. This will then enable us to improve our estimates on how old the ice at the base of the ice sheet might be and whether it is worth deploying other drills there all the way to the bed. The first direct proof of old ice is expected in January 2018.

Q: Isn't there an easy way to get all the way to the bottom without major logistics?

A: Yes, an intermediate way: SUBGLACIOR is the only one that can perform online measurements but still requires major logistics which limits its radius of deployment. Here the miniature RADIX system comes into play, which has been developed by Jakob Schwander at the University of Bern. Similar to the UK RAID, the Swiss RADIX drill provides drill chips to be analyzed, but it is only 2.5 cm in diameter and can drill a 3 km hole in only about 2 weeks. Accordingly, this fast drill will be deployed around Dome C next year to access ice at the bottom of the ice sheet at several locations in the vicinity of the SUBGLACIOR probe.

Q: Why are several projects aiming to drill at the same sites?

A: That is somewhat unclear in the map. At Little Dome C, the EU project Beyond EPICA is investigating the site and - if positive - envisaging a deep drilling. This has been done so far in collaboration with Australian and US scientists.
At Dome Fuji, Japanese scientists already drilled a core in the past going back 700 thousand years. In cooperation with the Beyond EPICA activities this season for airborne reconnaissance, Japan considers drilling another core at a spot in that area where there might be older ice.
At Dome A, China will continue to drill. The US scientists hope to drill eventually somewhat away from Dome A, e.g. on its shoulder or along the Dome A-Dome F ridge. The very earliest that this could possibly happen would be the 2018-2019 season.