Russian Scientists To Drill Into 20 Million Year Old Vostok Lake in Antarctica To Sample Prehistoric Lake Water

Lake Vostok

Image by National Science Foundation via Flickr

Copyright 2011-3011 By Chase Kyla Hunter, All Rights Reserved.

Prehistoric Lake Vostok in Antarctica, buried beneath the accumulated ice pack several miles thick, has not seen the light of day for possibly 20 million years.

Soon Russian scientists from the Arctic and
Antarctic Research Institute in St. Petersburg Russia, along with expert Russian ice drillers, will bore through 13,000 feet of ice pack and access the ancient virgin lake water, which is said to be oxygenated nearly 50% more than surface lake water.

“Lake Vostok, which has been sealed off from the world for 14 million years, is about to be penetrated by a Russian drill bit. The lake, which lies four kilometers below the icy surface of Antarctica, is unique in that it’s been completely isolated from the other 150 subglacial lakes on the continent for such a long time. It’s also oligotropic, meaning that it’s supersaturated with oxygen — levels of the element are 50 times higher than those found in most typical freshwater lakes.”

The Vostock station, where the lake research and drilling proceeds,  is located in east central Antarctica, in one of the harshest coldest climates on earth. The coldest temperature on planet earth, in fact, was recorded there  sokme years back a bone shattering -89.4 degrees Celsius.

Scientists will brave vicious cold as they work to drill through millions of years of accumulated ice pack to finally carefully breach the ice and sample water in submerged prehistoric Vostok Lake. The lake was only recently revealed by satellite photography to be utterly colossal in size, nearly half the size of the nation of Wales, and 500 meters deep. It has a long think shape and may have been formed from a rift in the earth’s crust some 30 million years ago.

It’s believed that the massive ice pack over the lake has acted as a heat insulating shield, holding heat and keeping the lake liquid, while buried beneath miles of ice pack for millions of years. It is not unlike exploring the landscape of another world to endeavor to explore the contents of the prehistoric lake water.

DNA signatures have been located in Lake Vostok and prehistoric bacteria may yield vital clues about the climate of the earth millions of years ago.

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One comment

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Russian Scientists To Drill Into 20 Million Year Old Vostok Lake in Antarctica To Sample Prehistoric Lake Water | Alternative News Forum -- Topsy.com

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