Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Antarctic subglacial lake may soon reveal its secrets
by Irina Gardenina
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Feb 15, 2013

File image.

Scientists from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute have taken samples of water from Lake Vostok in Antarctic. This lake is hidden under a 3.5-km-thick layer of ice, which, as scientists believe, never melted within the last several billion years.

The Russian scientists are using drilling methods which are used by their Danish colleagues during the research in Greenland. This method does not allow microorganisms from the surface get into the water of the subglacial lake.

In an interview with the Voice of Russia, the head of the Russian expedition Valery Lukin said: "Last time, we stopped at the level of 3,505 meters, which left us only several meters to get to the water. This time, we had to start from the level of 3,431.8 meters, because the ice has thickened within this time. And, we managed to take out a 54-meter-high pillar of freshly frozen water from the lake!"

"Scientists suppose that Lake Vostok has been covered with ice for several billion years," Mr. Lukin continues. "Within all this time, the subglacial water has been isolated from any other water on Earth. Scientists suppose that living organisms, that inhabited the Earth billions of years ago but have already died out, may still live in Lake Vostok."

"The drillers will go back home by plane already in February. As for scientists, I can imagine how eager they are to examine the ice pillar, but they will have to wait for some time. We are planning to send the pillar to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, which is in St. Petersburg. However, the ice pillar is very big, and there are no planes with a refrigerator big enough to deliver it by plane. It will be delivered to St. Petersburg on a ship, but it will be possible only in May."

"Participants of a US scientific project, which is called Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling, or WISARD for short, have told us that after 10 years of preparations, they managed to take samples of water from another subglacial lake in Antarctic, which is near the continent's western coast. However, they found no living organisms in this water - but in science, a negative result is also a result."

"It should be noted that the lake from which the US scientists took the water is covered with a layer of ice which is only 800 meters thick, while Lake Vostok lies under more than 3 kms of ice. The life conditions for organisms there may be quite different."

There are about 300 subglacial lakes and several subglacial rivers in Antarctic, and now, scientists from several countries are going to find out whether these rivers and lakes are interconnected, and, if they are, how particularly. Moreover, experts say that the equipment and experience which is used for exploring subglacial lakes in Antarctic may probably be used in space - for example, for exploring a subglacial lake which was recently discovered on Jupiter.

Source: Voice of Russia


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

NSF-funded Team Samples Antarctic Lake Beneath the Ice Sheet
Washington DC (SPX) Feb 04, 2013
In a first-of-its-kind feat of science and engineering, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research team has successfully drilled through 800 meters (2,600 feet) of Antarctic ice to reach a subglacial lake and retrieve water and sediment samples that have been isolated from direct contact with the atmosphere for many thousands of years. Scientists and drillers with the interdiscipl ... read more

Warning of emergency alert system hacks

No health effects from Fukushima: Japan researcher

Aid trickles into tsunami-hit Solomons despite aftershocks

Smartphones, tablets help UW researchers improve storm forecasts

Researchers strain to improve electrical material and it's worth it

Explosive breakthrough in research on molecular recognition

Indra Develops The First High-Resolution Passive Radar System

ORNL scientists solve mercury mystery

Landslides delivered preferred upstream habitats for coho salmon

Middle East river basin has lost Dead Sea-sized quantity of water

Scientists confirm tetrahedral model of the molecular structure of water

NASA Satellites Find Freshwater Losses in Middle East

Antarctic subglacial lake may soon reveal its secrets

Sunlight stimulates release of carbon dioxide from permafrost

Volcano location could be greenhouse-icehouse key

Features Of Southeast European Human Ancestors Influenced By Lack Of Episodic Glaciations

Mexico to slaughter a half million chickens over bird flu

Agrichemical giant Syngenta faults EU bee plan

X-rays reveal uptake of nanoparticles by soya bean crops

Widely used nanoparticles enter soybean plants from farm soil

Mystery gold gifts for tsunami-wracked Japan port

Shimmering water reveals cold volcanic vent in Antarctic waters

Cargo container research to improve buildings' ability to withstand tsunamis

Powerful aftershocks rattle Solomon Islands

Pistorius shooting puts spotlight on S.African gun violence

US warns of tensions on Sudan-S.Sudan border

Jane Goodall: chimp scientist turned activist

Plane carrying Guinea army delegation crashes in Liberia

Bilingual babies get good at grammar

UF researchers include humans in most comprehensive tree of life to date

The last Neanderthals of southern Iberia did not coexist with modern humans

Computer helping save lost languages

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement