Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Lake Whillans Reached (Picture of the Day: 1/29/13)

A wonderful image in Antarctica before the Wissard team reached the lake. Source

Good news, everybody! The American Whillans Ice Stream Subglacial Access Research Drilling (wissard) team has reached their destination, lake Whillans beneath the Antarctica ice sheet. This subglacial lake was about 801 meters below the surface of the ice, far closer to the surface than lake Vostok, previously accessed by a Russian team, or lake Ellsworth, abandoned by a British team. The two other subglacial lakes that humans have tried to reach are isolated from the rest of the world by ice and rock, but lake Whillans isn't so isolated. This lake appears to be in contact with other bodies of water because the surface ice has been observed rising and falling as water pressure changes. This is another exciting step towards understanding our world, now we just have to wait for the data to start rolling in.
To read more, check out this article.

Image taken on-site by the Wissard bore hole camera. Source

A map of subglacial lakes. Source

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