US polar researchers reach Antarctic subglacial lake

A group of American explorers managed to reach an Antarctic subglacial lake,  WISSARD reports. Specialists had to drill a hole 801 meters deep. The drilling was carried out using a special technology, with hot sterile water. In the near future, American researchers are going to descend instruments and equipment into the lake to start sampling the water of the lake.

Whillans Lake is 643 km from the South Pole. American explorers arrived on the site in mid-January of this year and conducted a ten-day preparation for the drilling. After passing the mark of 700 meters, specialists slowed down the rate of drilling. Afterwards, the water level rose sharply. The further study of the well with the help of a camera confirmed the penetration into the lake.

In Antarctica, there are more than 300 subglacial lakes - at least those that have been confirmed. Exploring some of them is important to study the biology of extremophiles - the organisms capable of living in extreme conditions.

The Americans are not the only explorers of Antarctic lakes. British and Russian experts are also present in the region. The Britons work on the project to reach Lake Ellsworth, located in the western part of Antarctica at a depth of more than 3 kilometers.

Lake Vostok, located at a depth of about 3.5-4 kilometers, is a project of Russian specialists. Russian polar explorers received water samples of the subglacial lake on 10 January 2013.



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