Collecting a sediment core from a lake that is pitch black, has been sealed off for
tens of thousands if not millions on years will answer big science questions. What
is the possibility of life on other planets? What can we learn about the evolution
of life on Earth? How can we understand the ancient history of oceans and ice sheets?
Collecting a sample from the sediments locked beneath subglacial Lake Ellsworth is
the perfect opportunity to find out about the fundamentals of life on Earth.
Microbes can live within rocks and sediments
Microbes produce oxygen which is essential for creating an atmosphere
Lake Ellsworth may provide clues about the pre-conditions for life on Earth and other
The top layer of sediments may contain life forms
Is Earth unique or could there be life on other planets?
Clues to the past
Dr Dominic Hodgson, British Antarctic Survey and Professor Mike Bentley, the University