Final push to reach sub-glacial lake
Excitement is building in Antarctica and around the watching world as scientists make their final preparations to drill down to sub-glacial Lake Ellsworth. Having lugged tons of specially designed and built equipment across the globe the Ellsworth team – including researchers from NERC's British Antarctic Survey and National Oceanography Centre, and UK universities – expect to begin drilling by 12 December.
Researcher on Sub-glacial Lake Ellsworth team
The lake is under 3km of solid ice and it will take three or four days to reach it, using a hot-water drill. By analysing water and sediment samples from Ellsworth the research team hopes to determine the presence, origin and evolution of life in the lake and to reveal the history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The lake remains liquid because of geothermal heat and the great pressure of the ice above.
You can watch the action as it happens on the Ellsworth Live website and find lots more information about every aspect of the science on the Ellsworth project website.
Posted on 4 December 2012
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