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Earth United Kingdom Science

Drilling Begins At Lake Hidden Beneath Antarctic 131

Posted by timothy
from the new-places-to-advertise dept.
New submitter stonetony writes with this excerpt from the BBC: "A team of 12 scientists and engineers has begun work at remote Lake Ellsworth. They are using a high-pressure hose and sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through more than two miles of ice. The aim is to analyse ice waters isolated for up to 500,000 years. The team of 12 scientists and engineers is using sterilised water at near boiling point to blast a passage through the ice to waters isolated for up to half a million years. The process of opening a bore-hole is expected to last five days and will be followed by a rapid sampling operation before the ice refreezes."
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Drilling Begins At Lake Hidden Beneath Antarctic

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  • DUPE (Score:2, Informative)

    by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday December 13, 2012 @07:28PM (#42281817)

    I posted a submission on this story a WEEK AGO.

  • Now we know... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Thursday December 13, 2012 @08:27PM (#42282515) Homepage

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

    You took the words right out of my mouth!

    Now we know what the Mayans were predicting:
      The scientists wake Cthulhu, R'lyeh rises, and the world ends.

  • Re:Redux? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2NO@SPAMgdargaud.net> on Friday December 14, 2012 @06:15AM (#42285271) Homepage
    Well, technically the russians haven't quite breached the lake. It's ongoing right now and here's what I've followed so far:
    The layer of ice just above the lake is refrozen water (and not compressed snow from above). They already analyzed that without finding anything significant (a US lab found lots of stuff but the word is that it's all contaminated DNA, a french lab found only one candidate piece of DNA, that ice is 10 times cleaner than the cleanest water we can make in a lab).
    So a few days ago the russians breached the last remaining ice after using a sterilized drill. They then withdrew the drill and immediately lowered the pressure of the drilling fluid, allowing the water of the lake to raise into the hole for 600 meters. This water froze quickly. Now they are drilling again this freshly frozen ice which will be analyzed in a special very clean lab. I just don't know how they can drill again 600m of ice without deviating more than 10cm (the diameter of the core).
    Official results should start coming in about a month.

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