Navigation Links
Exploration of lake hidden beneath Antarctica's ice sheet begins
Date:1/15/2008

A four-man science team led by British Antarctic Surveys (BAS) Dr Andy Smith has begun exploring an ancient lake hidden deep beneath Antarcticas ice sheet. The lake the size of Lake Windermere (UK) could yield vital clues to life on Earth, climate change and future sea-level rise.

Glaciologist Dr Smith and his colleagues from the Universities of Edinburgh and Northumbria are camped out at one of the most remote places on Earth conducting a series of experiments on the ice. He says,

This is the first phase of what we think is an incredibly exciting project. We know the lake is 3.2km beneath the ice; long and thin and around 18 km2 in area. First results from our experiments have shown the lake is 105m deep. This means Lake Ellsworth is a deep-water body and confirms the lake as an ideal site for future exploration missions to detect microbial life and recover climate records.

If the survey work goes well, the next phase will be to build a probe, drill down into the lake and explore and sample the lake water. The UK could do this as soon as 2012/13.

This ambitious exploration of subglacial Lake Ellsworth, West Antarctica, involves scientists from 14 UK universities and research institutes, as well as colleagues from Chile, USA, Sweden, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand. The International Polar Year* project Principal Investigator is Professor Martin Siegert from the University of Edinburgh. He says,

We are particularly interested in Lake Ellsworth because its likely to have been isolated from the surface for hundreds of thousands of years. Radar measurements made previously from aircraft surveys suggest that the lake is connected to others that could drain ice from the West Antarctic Ice sheet to the ocean and contribute to sea-level rise.

Professor Siegert is already planning the lakes future exploration. He continues, Around 150 lakes have been discovered beneath Antarcticas vast ice sheet and so far little is known about them. Getting into the lake is a huge technological challenge but the effort is worth it. These lakes are important for a number of reasons. For example, because water acts as a lubricant to the ice above they may influence how the ice sheet flows. Their potential for unusual life forms could shed new light on evolution of life in harsh conditions; lake-floor sediments could yield vital clues to past climate. They can also help us understand the extraterrestrial environment of Europa (one of the moons of Jupiter).


'/>"/>

Contact: Athena Dinar
a.dinar@bas.ac.uk
44-122-322-1414
British Antarctic Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Hidden interactions between predators and prey: evolution causes cryptic dynamics in ecology
2. Biologists expose hidden costs of firefly flashes
3. UD plant biologists uncover top wetland plants hidden weapon
4. Stanford/Packard researchers find disease genes hidden in discarded data
5. Poor Americans in the United States suffer hidden burden of parasitic and other neglected diseases
6. New plant study reveals a deeply hidden layer of the transcriptome
7. Ancient fish bones reveal impacts of global warming beneath the sea
8. Beyond batteries: Storing power in a sheet of paper
9. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
10. U of M begins nations first clinical trial using T-reg cells from cord blood in leukemia treatment
11. DHS Begins Collecting 10 Fingerprints From International Visitors at Washington Dulles International Airport
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/22/2016)... , Nov. 22, 2016   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... LiveWire Healthcare and Life Sciences Awards as "Most ... off an unprecedented year of recognition and growth for ... over 15 years. iMedNet ™ ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... Market Watch: Primarily supported by ownership types; Private ... market is to witness a value of US$37.1 billion by ... Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% is foreseen from ... North America is not way behind ... at 9.56% respectively. Report Focus: The ...
(Date:11/15/2016)...  Synthetic Biologics, Inc. (NYSE MKT: SYN), a ... gut microbiome, today announced the pricing of an ... common stock and warrants to purchase 50,000,000 shares ... the public of $1.00 per share and accompanying ... offering, excluding the proceeds, if any from the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ACEA ... from its Phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 at the World Conference on Lung ... to providing an update on the phase I/II clinical trials for AC0010 in patients ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... KING OF PRUSSIA, PA (PRWEB) , ... December 01, 2016 , ... ... clinical research is through industry-wide collaboration, standardization and a beautiful technology experience. All three ... which convened more than 100 clinical trial leaders from over 40 sponsor, CRO and ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... -- The immunohistochemistry (IHC) market is projected to ... 7.3% during the forecast period of 2016 to 2021 dominated by ... for the largest share of immunohistochemistry (IHC) market, by end user. ... , , ... spread across 225 pages, profiling 10 companies and supported with 181 ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Portage Biotech ... Securities Exchange: PBT.U), is excited to announce the ... focused on developing preclinical ophthalmology assets through proof ... potent anti-inflammatory created by Portage Pharmaceuticals Limited and ... with ocular surface and anterior segment diseases. This ...
Breaking Biology Technology: