By Hugues Goosse
Our stay in the field is close to its end now. The drilling has reached this Thursday morning the final depth of 260.1 m. The quality of the ice core is great all along, thanks to the addition of the drilling fluid. We have thus well beaten the value of 208 m reached last year, and this core was of bad quality after 100m.
The deepest core of this season
We have made more radar measurements of the snow layers than planned and we have calculated precisely the position and height of the many bamboo sticks we have planted close to the field camp. Some parts of the area looks now as a kind of dried bamboo forest!
The bamboo stick that remains in the snow indicating the position measured with the GNSS and which will be revisited next year
Next year, some members of the team will come back to measure the part of the bamboos that remains out of the snow and the new positions of those bamboos. They will also redo some radar measurements to see the changes from one year to the next. This will allow us inferring the accumulation of the snow at the surface as well as the ice movements.
We have also plenty of profile of the snow density and surface snow properties.
Nander in a snow pit collecting snow properties.
For the deep drilling, we have to make a trench and thus loose the first meters of snow. A short core has thus still be collected with a light drill to have this missing part.
We will also have to make in the drilling hole some final measurements of the temperature and of the layers with the optical televiewer. Those measurements will performed again next year to estimate the ice deformation in the drilling hole.
We of course had some small technical problems but all the equipment performed well until the end and the mission is thus a success. This evening, we will celebrate with a fondue and the last box of South African white wine, to keep our traditions.
A last view of our camp before we start to dismantle it.
The next few days will be devoted to the packing and to set back the camp area is a state as close as possible to the one observed before we arrive, in order to avoid too large perturbations of the environment.
The plan is to travel back to princess Elisabeth Station Monday 14. It will take us about 24 hours to make the 200 km with all our convoy, pulling all the equipment and more than 1 ton of ice collected during the drill.