Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments

National Research Council "Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments"
National Academies Press | July 2007 | ISBN: 0309106354 | File type: PDF | 163 pages | 11,8 mb

Antarctica is renowned for its extreme cold; yet liquid water occurs at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet, several kilometers beneath the surface.
Since 1970, radar, sonar, and other techniques have discovered more than 145 lakes underneath the ice of Antarctica, the largest about the same size as Lake Ontario. Rivers, streams, swamps, and other wetlands also exist, the water remaining liquid because of geothermal heat from below and the weight and insulation of ice from above.
As of 2007, no one had drilled into any of these environments, and the Council was asked for ideas on how to investigate them without contaminating them. The most exciting prospect, of course, is that things are living down there, cut off from the rest of Earth's environment for hundreds of thousands of years.

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