Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Russians Reach Lake Vostok

We will have to wait another year for the findings, but they should be worth waiting for.

"The unofficial comment came this morning in my inbox from the American office of the Russian Embassy: They did it!!! :)

Attached was a link to the state-sponsored Russian news agency RIA Novosti, which quoted an unnamed source as saying:

Yesterday, our scientists stopped drilling at the depth of 3,768 meters and reached the surface of the sub-glacial lake.
The news came as a huge relief after weekend speculation grew over the current status of the Russian drill team as they raced against time to reach Antarctica's 20 million-year-old, ice-covered Lake Vostok or be forced to wait another year to try again.
here is much to be concerned about over the techniques and environmental consequences the Russians have taken in using kerosene and other drilling fluids first and a melt drill second in order to reach their goal of breaking the waterline. But these arguments were raised in 1998, two years after the discovery of the lake, and the drilling was suspended for two years in order to better address the situation. Other investigations into subglacial lakes have the foresight now in order to commence drilling using only melt drill technology.

The physics should come into play as predicted and push the lake water into the drill/melt hole where it can freeze over the next 10 months, without causing contamination in the lake itself.

I for one am looking forward to the results of what they may find next year. Of course in the meantime we can all speculate on what may be lurking in the lake water, hidden from all humanity -- until now.

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