Scientists kilometer drilled a hole for the study, "Lost" Antarctic lake
In early December, it became known about the new SALSA team mission, which studies the isolated lake hidden beneath the ice of Antarctica. Scientists are going to drill a hole in the ice, leading to previously explore the lake Mercer, detected more than ten years ago with the help of space satellite. Intriguing mission ended successfully - the researchers did a hole depth of 1,084 meters and raised to the surface of the material for the study. The data obtained will help to explore the whole world, hidden under a thick layer of ice, and quite possibly concealing a new living organisms for science.
To drill ice thickness exceeding 1,000 meters, the researchers used a special drill nozzle spraying hot water under high pressure. For unusual operation tool required additional equipment weighing over 500 tons. To carry the huge system of Antarctic station McMurdo to the region, under which Mercer Lake, it took 2 months.
Among the optional equipment were funds for the sustenance of the researchers, but most of the tools intended for environmental mission. Under a layer of ice is untouched by people clean water, so scientists were important to protect it from contamination. Scientists helped nature itself - before the lake did not freeze because of the high pressure exerted by the ice, but freed from the pressure has risen to the surface of the water quickly froze and did not allow dirt to get into the lake itself. All the tools were previously sterilized, and the remaining water, before getting back into the lake, were subjected to UV radiation.
At the moment, scientists were able to find out the exact depth of the lake, to measure the electrical conductivity of water and its temperature. Considering the important role played by the Antarctic in shaping the climate of our planet, scientists are very important to study it as detailed as possible. For example, scientists have to learn how to manage the Antarctic waters to flow under a heavy layer of ice and how biological processes performed therein. A lot of work - after all, hidden under the ice of more than 400 mysterious lakes.
Mercer Lake is not completely isolated from the outside world, and due to the Ross Sea, which makes a Glacier chilling sounds like the soundtrack to a horror movie. It is possible that there is an unknown science of living organisms in the dark corners of the lake.
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