The British risk turning the lake into the soup
British scientists have begun preparing for the drilling and subsequent research ellsuorta subglacial lake in West Antarctica. The experts proceed through the year.
To get to the water of the lake – not an easy task. It is hidden under kilometer-thick ice. The depth of the pond is only a few tens of meters. British scientists plan to produce drilling using hot water. Experts believe that due to the “hot-drilling”, used without chemicals, they will be able to take pristine samples of water and bottom sediments.
“Almost 15 years we are ready to explore this hidden world from us. Only now we have accumulated enough experience and technology to drill a well in the Antarctic ice and collect samples without the threat of contamination of this pristine environment,” proudly claims to be scientific Director of the research program of lake Martin Siegert.
However, Russian scientists do not share the confidence of the British colleagues in the success method of drilling with hot water. In this case, in the opinion of our specialists, about the purity of the experiment. Drilling technology, which is going to apply British, involves the use of water heated to 90 degrees Celsius. As a result of this process will inevitably heat up the water and ice in the lake. “That is, they will not study microorganisms and soup of microorganisms. How representative this is – I don’t know”, – said the head of the Russian Antarctic expedition (RAE) Valery Lukin.
A group of Russian scientists, in turn, is working on subglacial lake Vostok. Well they are going another way – electro-mechanical, using a mixture of freon and kerosene. This priming fluid density less than the density of water, and therefore they will not mix, and the purity of the samples will not be disrupted. According to scientists, the water “will back the layer of fill fluid due to the difference of pressure and will rise in a borehole”, after which the researchers take the frozen core of this water.
At the moment the Russians managed to drill through the ice to a depth of 3750 m. the lake is only 20-30 m. the Well is still in caretaker status, the work will be continued in December, reports RIA “Novosti” .