Drilling activities were reassumed after a year of waiting and scientists expect to reach the world’s biggest sub glacial lake in the following days. Vostok is also the deepest of the more than 170 sub glacial lakes discovered in Antarctica and it is expected to contain the most pristine and ancient water in the world.
There are still many feats to be done by scientists. But drilling through more than 3.000 mts of ancient ice in the coldest and most isolated region of the planet is definitely one of those achievements that will make history.
For the past years, Russian scientists have been working to get a sample of what is expected to be the most ancient and pristine water in the world. The expert team plans to reach the surface of LakeVostok in the following days.
Lake Vostok is the largest of the 170 sub glacial lakes that have been discovered under the frozen surface of Antarctica. It is located near the Russian Vostok Station, close to the South Pole of Inaccessibility and the place where the lowest temperature in history was registered-82 ºC.
Lake Vostok is a massive area of water of 250 km., trapped under the frozen surface of Antarctica. It is buried under 3.500 meters of ice and snow and has remained this way for the thousands of yeas.
For the last years, a team of technicians and scientists from the Russian Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, have worked there with an especially designed hot water drill to go through the rock solid ice down to the water. They melt ice and snow with a boiler and push it at high pressure to drill through the ice.
The original plan was to get to the water last year, but due to the climate conditions, tasks had to be stopped until this year’s summer season.
Now, according to the announcement made by the AARI Director Valerie Lukin, scientists are less than 50 meters away from their objective.
Once they reach their objective, they will allow the water to freee inside the hole and wait till next year to collect the samples in order to avoid contaminating the lake.