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We drilled an 81.2-m-long ice core in the accumulation area (5860 m a.s.l.) of Trambau Glacier in the Rolwaling region during October–November 2019. The drilling operation was conducted with a lightweight electro-mechanical drill system after two reconnaissance fieldworks in 2017 and 2018, during which two shallow firn cores were drilled with a hand auger. The drill system and ice core samples were transported by helicopters at a high elevation of 6000 m a.s.l. A further challenging issue was the ice core transportation between Nepal and Japan, as no regular commercial flight was available for the frozen samples. The addition of dry ice imported from India immediately prior to leaving Nepal allowed the ice core samples to be successfully transported to a cold room in Japan, and remain in a frozen state. Stratigraphic observations during the drilling operation suggest the drill site has been affected by melting and refreezing.
The Japanese second deep ice coring project was carried out at Dome Fuji, Antarctica. Following the drilling of the pilot hole in 2001, deep ice core drilling led by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE) was conducted over four austral summer seasons, beginning with the 2003/04 season and reached a depth of 3035.22 m near the bedrock in January 2007. The new drill was designed and developed with the goals of (1) solving the problems encountered during the first JARE deep coring drill and (2) achieving more efficient drilling. In particular, the maximum core length that can be drilled at one time was increased from 2.30 m to 3.84 m and the chip storage efficiency was enhanced by a special pipe with many small holes. This paper gives an outline of the improved drilling system, the progress of drilling and various drilling data.
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