At a Press Conference this week at BA Science Festival in Aberdeen Martin Siegert,
John Parnell and Chris Hill talk about the countdown to one of the most ambitious
scientific missions to Antarctica. In October, after 16 years of planning a 12-man
team of British scientists, engineers and support staff will make the 16,000 km journey
from the UK to go deep into the heart of the frozen continent to collect samples
of water and sediments from an ancient lake buried beneath three kilometers of ice.
A team of four British engineers has returned to the UK after completing a gruelling
journey to one of the most remote and hostile locations on the planet to put in place
equipment and supplies for an ambitious project later this year. more
On behalf of the Subglacial Lake Ellsworth consortium I congratulate the Russian
team for successfully completing this important phase of their drilling mission to
understand Lake Vostok and subglacial lake environments. We are very much looking
forward to working with Russian scientists next year when they retrieve 'lake samples'
from the frozen lake water within the borehole. In particular, we will want to compare
direct measurements and samples from Lake Ellsworth with the Lake Vostok material,
to understand biodiversity and environmental conditions beneath the ice sheets in
Antarctica. This is an important first step in subglacial lake exploration, but there
is much still to do. Over the next few years we will be developing collaborations
with scientists from the US, Russia and other nations to comprehend these pristine,
August 2012 - Stage two of the mission to explore Subglacial Lake Ellsworth ready
to be launched
As the team packs the remaining equipment for shipping to Lake Ellsworth Principal
Investigator Professor Martin Siegert reflects on a mission that has taken 16 years
to launch. Read more
BBC News Science Editor David Shukman reports on this daring project
August 2012 – No going back!
Programme Manager Chris Hill shares his latest report.
As the Lake Ellsworth project team prepared the probe and sediment corer gear for
shipping to site, it is fair to say that a good amount of midnight oil was burned.
Over the last few months progress was steady, positive with everyone focused intently
on meeting deadlines and preparing everything for the field season later this year.
Wednesday 12 December 2012 See latest photos and updates at EllsworthLive
This week (12 December) a British team of scientists and engineers realise a 16 year
ambition to drill down through over 3 km of Antarctic ice into an ancient buried
lake. The team hopes to find signs of life in the water and clues to the Earth’s
past climate in the mud at the lake floor. Read more
November 2013. Subglacial Lake Ellsworth – 1 year on
In the early hours of 25th December 2012, an attempt to explore Subglacial Lake Ellsworth
deep beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet was called off. This UK project, involving
the British Antarctic Survey, the National Oceanography Centre and several Universities,
had been in planning for over 10 years. The ambition was to access the lake using
a specially-engineered hot-water drill through 3 km of ice and, using the hole created
deploy probes to take samples and measurements to look for life in the lake and acquire
records of past ice and climate change. Read more
January 2014. News article in Nature. Polar drilling problems revealed in a report
into failings of expedition to explore Antarctic lake. Read more
Report into failings of expedition to explore Antarctic lake finds equipment to blame
— but complications can be fixed.