After years of drilling through the rock solid ice of Antartica, a team of Russian investigators has reached the surface of subglacial Lake Vostok, the biggest one in Antartica and one of the most ancient and pristine waters in the world.
The official Russian news agency, RIA Novosti, confirmed today that the scientific team has reached the surface of Lake Vostok after years of working in the extreme conditions of Antarctica to go through almost4.000 kilometers of rock solid ice.
“Yesterday, in Vostok Station in Antarctica, our scientists have reached the surface of the lake at a depth of 3.768 meters”, said a spokesman of the Russian Antarctic Expedition.
Lake Vostok is one of the great mysteries of Antarctica. It is an enormous mass of water of more than 250 km. trapped under the frozen surface of Antarctica and that has stayed this way for the past hundreds of thousands of years. Scientists expect it to contain some of the most pristine water on Earth.
Drilling began years ago but had to be stopped in several opportunities because of technical and climate difficulties. The Russian team planned to reach it during the 2011 summer but had to abort their activities because of bad weather condition.
Now, they will allow the water to go into the hole and freeze there until next year when they will return to the area to obtain some samples to study it’s composition.
The drilling oflakeVostokhas aroused several questions in the scientific community due to the possibility of contaminating the lake while obtaining samples.