British Research Team to Drill Beneath Three Kilometers of Solid Ice to Reach Subglacial Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica

Posted on October 11, 2011

Explosion of Ice at Lake Ellsworth

A British research team is headed to Antarctica for the first stage of a scientific mission to collect water and sediment samples from Lake Ellsworth, which is buried beneath three kilometres (1.86 miles) of solid ice. In a press release, the researchers explain that the project will take two phases.

In October 2012 a team of 10 scientists and engineers will use hot-water drilling technology to make a three kilometer bore hole through the ice. The team will lower a titanium probe into the bore hole to measure and sample the water. The probe will be followed by a corer to extract sediment from the lake.

This ITN News video includes an animation of the titanium probe sampling the water. Take a look:

Photo: The Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Consortium


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