As part of a major European Union project, experts from 14 institutions in ten European countries spent three years examining Antarctic ice in search of the ideal site to study the climate history of the past 1.5 million years. The Beyond EPICA – Oldest Ice consortium presents its findings at the European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna from 7 to 12 April.
With its Italian partner PNRA, the French Polar Institute represents the logistical pillar of this very ambitious project. The objective is to drill a core in the Antarctic glacier to the bedrock at a depth of 2800 metres, on a site about 40 kilometres away from the Concordia station, during 5 consecutive summer campaigns.
This project involves the implementation of a specific logistics:
- transport of materials and construction of a temporary camp that can accommodate about fifteen researchers, engineers and technicians,
- repatriation of the ice cores and storage at Concordia in a trench at minus 50 degrees Celsius,
- ice core processing at Concordia in a science shelter
- repatriation of a portion of these cores to Europe by ensuring a continuous cold chain at minus 50 degrees Celsius in order to preserve the ice cores in the best conditions.
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