Monday, January 16, 2012

Welcome to Antarctica: Tapping into a glacial lake 2 miles below the surface (BBCNews)

Antarctica Lake Drilling Mission Edges Closer to Reality

The advance party has arrived to set up vital equipment and supplies

Related Stories

An ambitious plan to explore a vast lake trapped beneath the Antarctic ice is a step closer to becoming reality.
An advance party has braved freezing temperatures to set up vital equipment and supplies at Lake Ellsworth.
The project by UK engineers to drill through the two-mile-thick ice-sheet is scheduled for the end of the year.

How scientists will reach Lake Ellsworth

Graphic of Lake Ellsworth exploration
1. A hot water drill will melt through the frozen ice sheet, which is up to 3km (2 miles) thick. After drilling, they will have an estimated 24 hours to collect samples before the borehole re-freezes
2. A probe will be lowered through the borehole to capture water samples
3. A specialised corer will then recover sediment from the floor of the lake through the same borehole
Source: Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Consortium

No comments: