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article imageDrilling into ice-buried lake in Antarctica

By Owen Weldon     Oct 11, 2011 in World
A group of engineers from Britain plan on taking a journey to a lake that is beneath the ice of Antarctica. The lake is located almost two miles beneath the ice.
The group of British engineers is planning on departing for Antarctica next week. The group will take part in the first stage of a scientific mission to gather water and sediment from a lake that is buried 1.8 miles below solid ice. The purpose of the mission is to find out about the climate of Earth’s past. Scientists are also hoping to learn more about evolution on other planets and here on earth.
According to MSNBC, the team will make the 10,000 mile journey from the UK to Lake Ellsworth, which is located on the ice sheet in West Antarctica. Temperatures of 13 degrees Fahrenheit are the norm in that part of Antarctica, and that part is one of the most remote places on earth. The team’s job is to prepare for the “deep-field” mission that will happen next year. That is when a team of researchers will spend three months, living in tents, working above the lake.
The team will be carrying almost 80 tons of equipment. David Pearce is a science coordinator at the British Antarctic Survey, and he said that if the team finds nothing then that will be significant. The reason is because this will show the limits at which life can no longer go on living on earth.
This mission has been planned for the past 15 years, according to Fox News. Martin Siegert, the leader of the mission, said that they finally have the technology to drill through the thick ice, and they have the expertise too.
The team will be using a sediment corer, which can penetrate most glacial sediments, no matter how compacted they are. A water-sampling probe that is 16-feet-long will also be used to collect water samples at a variety of depths.
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