In addition to the extreme environmental conditions, during the first drilling attempt, once the scientists reached a depth of 24 meters, the researchers had to deal with an aquifer that returned a liquid core. A bitter but clear sign that the melting of the glacier had reached an advanced stage. Hence the need to relocate all coring equipment 13 meters higher up, to the summit of the Dovrebreen glacier that feeds the Holtedahlfonna. At this site, the extraction of three samples of 74 metres each was completed. A shallower depth than originally planned, but sufficient to reconstruct the climatic history of the region.
The operations, which given the conditions are unlikely to be repeated in the future, have therefore been successfully concluded.
What will happen to the samples now? In 2024, they will be transported to the French-Italian Concordia station in Antarctica, where they will be stored at -50 degrees Celsius (without the use of energy) and will be studied by future generations of scientists. Another very small step in the search for a solution to the climate crisis has been taken!