The Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Consortium is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council

EXTERNAL LINKS

SEE ALSO

QUICK LINKS FOR

Latest news

Scientists

Engineers

Journalists

Schools

Maps

Photo gallery

Video clips

Animation

At a glance

Environmental

SCAR Expert group

Environmental Evaluation

WISSARD

FOLLOW

New RSS Feed

hot water to drill through ice

The team will have just 24 hours to access the lake before the borehole refreezes.

Although hot-water drilling technology has been used extensively by Antarctic scientists on previous experiments, at 3 km this will be the deepest borehole ever made this way.

The hot water drill is designed to cope with extraordinary environmental conditions.

 

It needs to operate continuously for 3 days to create a 360 mm wide borehole through the ice into the lake.

 

At -20°C  freezing inside the borehole reduces its diameter by 0.6 cm per hour.

 

Ice and water from the hole need to be recycled as drilling fluid to minimise the potential for contamination.

                               Read more

design and build

why lake ellsworth

Engineer Andy Tait, from British Antarctic Survey, describes the challenge of building and deploying a hot water drill