Scientists drilled a wide hole to explore "lost" Antarctic lake

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2019-01-03 15:30:07

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Scientists drilled a wide hole to explore

At the beginning of December it became known about the new mission team SALSA, which studies isolated lakes hidden beneath the ice of Antarctica. Scientists were determined , leading to a previously unexplored lake Mercer, discovered over a decade ago with the help of space satellite. Intriguing mission was completed successfully — the researchers made a hole depth of 1084 meters and raised to the surface of the material for study. The findings will help to explore a world hidden under a layer of thick ice, and quite possibly concealing a new science of living organisms.

To drill the thick ice more than 1000 meters, the researchers used a special drill bit with a nozzle spraying hot water under high pressure. For unusual tool required additional equipment weighing more than 500 tons. To transport the huge system of Antarctic McMurdo station to the area, which is lake Mercer, it took 2 months.

Among the additional equipment were the means for the sustenance of researchers, but most of the instruments for sustainability of the mission. The ice sheet is pristine with clean water, so scientists was important to protect it from contamination. Scientists helped by the nature itself — the lake did not freeze due to the high pressure exerted by ice, but released from the pressure of rising to the surface of the water quickly froze and did not allow dirt to get into the lake itself. All the instruments used were pre-sterilized, and the remainder water, before reaching back into the lake, were subjected to ultraviolet radiation.

At this point, scientists were able to know the exact depth of the lake, to measure the electrical conductivity of water and its temperature. Given the critical role played by Antarctica in the formation of our planet's climate, scientists are very important to study it in more detail. For example, scientists have to learn how the waters of the Antarctic could flow beneath the heavy layer of ice and as they are biological processes. A lot of work — after all, hidden under ice for more than 400 mysterious lakes.

Lake Mercer is not completely isolated from the outside world, but is associated with the Ross sea, the glacier which issues , like a soundtrack to horror films. It is possible that in the dark corners of the lake is unknown to science living organisms.

What do you think, what discoveries scientists can make? Your realistic or even a fantastic assumption it is possible to write in the comments or at .

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