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Active Volcano Discovered Underneath Antarctic

Active Volcano Discovered Underneath Antarctic Ice Sheet, Confirming Long-Held Suspicions

Posted: 11/18/2013 10:26 am EST  |  Updated: 11/18/2013 2:52 pm EST

 
Volcano Under Antarctica

By Becky Oskin, LiveScience Staff Writer:

Earthquakes deep below West Antarctica reveal an active volcano hidden beneath the massive ice sheet, researchers said today (Nov. 17) in a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The discovery finally confirms long-held suspicions of volcanic activity concealed by the vast West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Several volcanoes poke up along the Antarctic coast and its offshore islands, such as Mount Erebus, but this is the first time anyone has caught magma in action far from the coast.

“This is really the golden age of discovery of the Antarctic continent,” said Richard Aster, a co-author of the study and a seismologist at Colorado State University. “I think there’s no question that there are more volcanic surprises beneath the ice.”

The volcano was a lucky find. The research project, called POLENET, was intended to reveal the structure of Earth’s mantle, the layer beneath the crust. In 2010, a team led by scientists from Washington University in St. Louis spent weeks slogging across the snow, pulling sleds laden with earthquake-monitoring equipment. [Images: Trek Across Antarctica]

Right place, right time

Two earthquake swarms struck beneath the researchers’ feet in January 2010 and March 2011, near the Executive Committee Range in the Marie Byrd Land region of the continent. As the researchers later discovered, the tremors — called deep, long-period earthquakes (DLPs) — were nearly identical to DLPs detected under active volcanoes in Alaska and Washington. The swarms were 15 to 25 miles (25 to 40 kilometers) below the surface.

“It’s an exciting story,” said Amanda Lough, the study’s lead author and a graduate student in seismology at Washington University in St. Louis. Though there were no signs of a blast, a 3,200-foot-tall (1,000 meters) bulge under the ice suggests the volcano had blasted out lava in the past, forming a budding peak.

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The POLENET/ANET field team drags equipment to install remote seismic and GPS stations at Mount Sidley, a volcano in Antarctica (seen in background).

“We can say with pretty high confidence that there wasn’t an eruption while we were out there,” Lough told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. “We had people installing [seismometer] stations and flying airborne radar over the ice. But from the bed topography, we can see there is something building up beneath the ice.”

Scientists think that underground magma and fluids pushing open new paths and fracturing rock cause deep, long-period earthquakes. Many active volcanoes in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands have frequently produced these deep earthquake swarms without any signs of impending eruptions. However, researchers also monitor the tremors because a sudden uptick in shaking was seen before eruptions at Mount Spurr and Mount Redoubt in Alaska.

A volcanic flood

If the volcano in Antarctica did erupt, it would melt the bottom of the ice sheet immediately above the vent. Scientists aren’t sure what would happen next. In Iceland, volcanic eruptions can melt glaciers, causing massive floods calledjökulhlaups. But the ice above the Antarctic volcano is more than a half-mile (1 km) thick.

“How West Antarctic ice streams would react to an eruption a hundred or more kilometers [60 miles] inland from the grounding line is a yet-to-be-answered question,” said Stefan Vogel, a glaciologist with Australian Antarctic Division who was not involved in the study. The grounding line is the spot where glaciers detach from rock and float on water.

“There is certainly a need for more research, both in mapping the distribution and monitoring the activity level of subglacial volcanic activity beneath ice sheets, as well as studying the impact of subglacial volcanic activity on the hydrological system of glaciers and ice sheets,” Vogel said in an email interview.

It would take a super-eruption in the style of Yellowstone’s ancient blowouts to completely melt the ice above the active volcano, Lough and her co-authors calculated. And if the volcano under the ice is similar to ones close by, such as Mount Sidley, there’s no risk of a super-eruption. [Big Blasts: History’s 10 Most Destructive Volcanoes]

Instead, the millions of gallons of meltwater might simply hasten the flow of the nearby MacAyeal Ice Stream toward the sea.

“People hear the word ‘volcano’ and get caught up in the idea that it will change the way the ice sheet works, but this stuff has been going on underneath the ice [for millions of years], and the ice sheet is in balance with it,” Lough said. “Everyday magmatism isn’t enough to cause major problems.”

Hugh Corr, a glaciologist at the British Antarctic Survey who also discovered a buried Antarctic volcano, said an eruption could have a big effect, but it’s difficult to quantify.

“The biggest effect on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is still climate change — warming the ocean, melting the ice shelves. That’s the most immediate risk, compared to if a volcano might go off,” said Corr, who was not involved in the study.

A geologic puzzle

Signs of active and extinct volcanoes pop up all over Antarctica. Ash layers and lava indicate volcanoes spouted while the continent froze during the past 20 million years or more. (An 8,000-year-old ash layer sits above the newly found volcano, but it comes from Mount Waesche, a nearby peak.)

“The [West] coast of Antarctica is like a ring of fire,” Corr said.

volc2
The Executive Committee Range in West Antarctica is home to a newly discovered active volcano.

The earthquake swarms line up with older volcanoes in the Executive Committee Range, suggesting the volcanic activity there is slowly migrating south by 6 miles (9.6 km) every million years. This migration is perpendicular to the motion of Antarctica’s tectonic plate, so a hotspot or mantle plume is not feeding the volcanoes, Lough said. (A mantle plume should make volcanoes that line up parallel to plate motion, like those of the Hawaiian Islands.)

The big mystery is figuring out why the volcano and its forerunners even exist. “Antarctica is certainly one of the most fascinating and enigmatic of all of Earth’s continents,” Aster said. [Video – Antarctica: Solving Geologic Mysteries]

Let’s set the scene. Antarctica is split by an incredible mountain range. Imagine if Utah’s spectacularly steep Wasatch Mountains cleaved North America from Texas all the way to Canada. That’s what the Transantarctic Mountains are like. In the West, the land dives off into a deep rift valley, where the crust has been tearing apart for about 100 million years. The newly found volcano sits on the other side of this rift, in a higher-elevation region called Marie Byrd Land.

While the torn crust may seem like the best explanation for Antarctica’s many volcanoes, many of the peaks fit no obvious pattern. Rifting and volcanism in Antarctica could be like nowhere else on Earth. “What is going on with the crust in Antarctica is still puzzling,” Lough said.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanetFacebook &Google+Original article on LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

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Tamu Massif, Earth’s Largest Volcano, Lurks Beneath Pacific Ocean

Tamu Massif, Earth’s Largest Volcano, Lurks Beneath Pacific Ocean

Posted: 09/06/2013 8:34 am EDT  |  Updated: 09/06/2013 10:28 am EDT

The world’s largest volcano lurks beneath the Pacific Ocean, researchers announced today (Sept. 5) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Called the Tamu Massif, the enormous mound dwarfs the previous record holder, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa, and is only 25 percent smaller than Olympus Mons on Mars, the biggest volcano in Earth’s solar system, said William Sager, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Houston.

“We think this is a class of volcano that hasn’t been recognized before,” Sager said. “The slopes are very shallow. If you were standing on this thing, you would have a difficult time telling which way was downhill.”

Tamu is 400 miles (650 kilometers) wide but only about 2.5 miles (4 km) tall. It erupted for a few million years during the early Cretaceous period, about 144 million years ago, and has been extinct since then, the researchers report. [50 Amazing Volcano Facts]

volcano
A 3D map of Tamu Massif, the world’s biggest volcano. (Click image for larger version.)

Explaining ocean plateaus

Like other massive volcanoes, Tamu Massif seems to have a central cone that spewed lava down its broad, gentle slopes. The evidence comes from seismic surveys and lava samples painstakingly collected over several years of surveys by research ships. The seismic waves show lava flows dipping away from the summit of the volcano. There appears to be a series of calderas at the summit, similar in shape to the elongated and merged craters atop Mauna Loa, Sager said.

Until now, geologists thought Tamu Massif was simply part of an oceanic plateau called Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Oceanic plateaus are massive piles of lava whose origins are still a matter of active scientific debate. Some researchers think plumes of magma from deep in the mantle punch through the crust, flooding the surface with lava. Others suggest pre-existing weaknesses in the crust, such as tectonic-plate boundaries, provide passageways for magma from the mantle, the layer beneath the crust. Shatsky Rise formed atop a triple junction, where three plates pulled apart.

william sager
Tamu Massif on Shatsky Rise in the northwest Pacific Ocean, compared in size to Olympus Mons on Mars. (Click image for larger version.)

Tamu Massif’s new status as a single volcano could help constrain models of how oceanic plateaus form, Sager said. “For anyone who wants to explain oceanic plateaus, we have new constraints,” he told LiveScience. “They have to be able to explain this volcano forming in one spot and deliver this kind of magma supply in a short time.”

Geochemist David Peate of the University of Iowa, who was not involved in the study, said he looks forward to new models explaining the pulses of magma that built Shatsky Rise. Tamu Massif is the biggest and oldest volcano, and the cones grow smaller and younger to the northeast of Tamu. Sager and his colleagues suggest that pulses of magma created the volcanic trail.

“It seems that in many oceanic plateaus the melting is continuous, but here you have a big shield volcano,” Peate told LiveScience. “Understanding the source of the volume of that magma, the rate of production of the magma and the time interval between those pulses will help give better constraints to feed into those models,” he said.

Sager said other, bigger volcanoes could be awaiting discovery at other oceanic plateaus, such as Ontong Java Plateau, located north of the Solomon Islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean. “Structures that are under the ocean are really hard to study,” he said.

Floating volcano

Oceanic plateaus are the biggest piles of lava on Earth. The outpourings have been linked to mass extinctions and climate change. The volume of Tamu Massif alone is about 600,000 cubic miles (2.5 million cubic km). The entire volcano is bigger than the British Isles or New Mexico.

Despite Tamu’s huge size, the ship surveys showed little evidence the volcano’s top ever poked above the sea. The world’s biggest volcano has been hidden because it sits on thin oceanic crust (or lithosphere), which can’t support its weight. Its top is about 6,500 feet (1,980 meters) below the ocean surface today.

“In the case of Shatsky Rise, it formed on virtually zero thickness lithosphere, so it’s in isostatic balance,” Sager said. “It’s basically floating all the time, so the bulk of Tamu Massif is down in the mantle. The Hawaiian volcanoes erupted onto thick lithosphere, so it’s like they have a raft to hold on to. They get up on top and push it down. And with Olympus Mons, it’s like it formed on a two-by-four.”

Sager and his colleagues have studied Shatsky Rise for decades, seeking to solve the puzzle of oceanic plateaus. About 20 years ago, they named Tamu Massif after Texas A&M University, Sager’s former employer, he said.

Email Becky Oskin or follow her @beckyoskin. Follow us @OAPlanetFacebook &Google+. Original article on LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

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New Island Appears

New photo of Pakistan’s ‘Earthquake Island’

By Becky Oskin

Published October 06, 2013

LiveScience
  • gwadar_aerial_photo

    An aerial photo from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography suggests the new island is 60 to 70 feet (15 to 20 meters) tall.(PAKISTAN’S NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHY/NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY)

The Earth performed the ultimate magic trick last week, making an island appear out of nowhere. The new island is a remarkable side effect of the deadly Sept. 24 earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 500 people.

A series of satellite images snapped a few days after the earthquake-triggered island emerged offshore of the town of Gwadar reveals the strange structure is round and relatively flat, with cracks and fissures like a child’s dried-up mud pie.

The French Pleiades satellite mapped the muddy hill’s dimensions, which measure 576.4 feet long by 524.9 feet wide. Aerial photos from Pakistan’s National Institute of Oceanography suggest the gray-colored mound is about 60 to 70 feet tall. [Gallery: Amazing Images of Pakistan’s Earthquake Island]

Geologists think the new island is made of erupted mud, spewed from the seafloor when trapped gases escaped. 

Gwadar is about 230 miles from the earthquake’s epicenter. The magnitude-7.7 earthquake was likely centered on the Chaman Fault, Shuhab Khan, a geoscientist at the University of Houston told LiveScience last week..

Geologists think the new island, named Zalzala Koh, is made of erupted mud, spewed from the seafloor when either trapped gases escaped or subsurface water was violently expelled.

The new island could be a mud volcano. Mud volcanoes form when hot water underground mixes with sediments and gases such as methane and carbon dioxide. If the noxious slurry finds a release valve, such as a crack opened by earthquake shaking, a mud volcano erupts, said James Hein, a senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Santa Cruz, Calif, said in an earlier interview. Geologists from the Pakistan Navy report that Zalzala Koh is releasing flammable gas. But seafloor sediments commonly hold methane-producing bacteria, so the possible methane coming from the island isn’t a clincher to its identity.

Shaking from the powerful Sept. 24 earthquake could have also loosened the seafloor sediments offshore of Pakistan, jiggling them like jelly. The great rivers coming down from the Himalayas dump tons of water-saturated sediment into the Arabian Sea every year. The new island could be a gigantic example of a liquefaction blow, when seismic shaking makes saturated sediments act like liquid and trapped water suddenly escapes, Michael Manga, a geophysicist at the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience last week.

Similar islands have appeared offshore of Pakistan after strong earthquakes in the region in 2001 and 1945. If the earlier examples hold, the soft mud island won’t last a year, disappearing under the erosive power of the pounding of waves from monsoon storms.

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Too Much Deer Pee Hurting Environment (yeah, you read that correctly)

How much deer pee is too much you ask?

Too much deer pee changing northern forests

By Becky Oskin

How Green

Published June 06, 2013

LiveScience

  • deer

    White-tailed deer congregate under evergreens like northern white cedar for protection from winter weather, creating nitrogen hot spots that change the plant community. (Michigan Technological University)

The booming deer population in the northern United States is bad for the animal’s beloved hemlocks, a new study finds.

During Michigan winters, white-tailed deer converge on stands of young hemlocks for protection from winter chill and predators. The same deer return every year to their favorite clumps of the bushy evergreens, called deeryards. The high concentration of deer in a small space saturates the soils with nitrogen from pee, according to a study published online in the journal Ecology. While deer pee can be a valuable source of nitrogen, a rare and necessary nutrient for plants, some deeryards are now too rich for the hemlocks to grow.

“Herbivores like deer interact with the ecosystem in two ways. One is by eating plants and the other is by excreting nutrients,&quot said Bryan Murray, an ecologist and doctoral student at Michigan Tech University. &quotUrine can be a really high nitrogen resource, and hemlock can be out-competed by other species in really high nitrogen environments.”

Slow-growing hemlocks prefer low-nitrogen soil, and the prolific pee results in nitrogen-loving species like sugar maple outgrowing the hemlocks, the researchers found.

Hemlocks are already struggling to recover from logging and other ecosystem changes that reduced their numbers to 1 percent of pre-settlement populations in some parts of Michigan, Murray said. “At the moment, it’s difficult to find hemlock stands where there are saplings in the understory that are going to replace the hemlocks in the overstory when they die,” he told OurAmazingPlanet. The lack of regeneration could be due to a number of issues, but deer overpopulation is a factor, he added.

With the reduced hemlock cover available for deer, the booming white-tailed deer population means more deer crowd into the remaining forest. The researchers found more than 100 deer per square mile in popular deeryards. And young hemlocks have a tough time recovering from the deer nibbling and browsing.

In the eastern United States, an invasive sap-sucking bug called the adelgid is also killing off hemlocks.

“The Upper Midwest represents one of the last strongholds of hemlocks,” Murray said.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/06/06/too-much-deer-pee-changing-northern-forests/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2VrJmYGI1

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What Antarctica looked like before the ice

What Antarctica looked like before the ice

By Becky Oskin

Published March 08, 2013

LiveScience

  • antarctica_3d

    This 3-D reconstruction of the topography hidden under Antarctica’s two-mile-thick coating of ice was made using data from radar surveys. The continent was relatively flat before glaciers started carving deep valleys 34 million years ago, a new (Stuart N. Thomson/UA department of geosciences)

Like Alaska’s mighty Yukon, a broad river once flowed across Antarctica, following a gentle valley shaped by tectonic forces at a time before the continent became encased in ice. Understanding what happened when rivers of ice later filled the valley could solve certain climate and geologic puzzles about the southernmost continent.

The valley is Lambert Graben in East Antarctica, now home to the world’s largest glacier. Trapped beneath the ice, the graben (which is German for ditch or trench) is a stunning, deep gorge. But before Antarctica’s deep freeze 34 million years ago, the valley was relatively flat and filled by a lazy river, leaving a riddle for geologists to decode: How did Lambert Graben get so steep, and when was it carved?

The key to Lambert Graben’s history was found in layers of sediments just offshore, in Prydz Bay. In a new study, Stuart Thomson, a geologist at the University of Arizona (UA) in Tucson, looked into the past by decoding sands deposited by the river, and the messy piles left behind by the glacier. The river sands are topped with a thick layer of coarser sediment that signals the onset of glacial erosion in the valley, the researchers found. The erosion rate more than doubled when the glaciers moved in, Thomson said.

‘Glaciers can carve deep valleys quickly — and did so on Antarctica before it got … covered by 1 or 2 miles of thick, stationary ice.’

– Peter Reiners, a UA geologist 

“The only way that could happen is from glaciers,” he said. “They started grinding and forming deep valleys.”

Understanding when glaciers first wove their way across Antarctica will help scientists better model the ice sheet’s response to Earth’s climate shifts, the researchers said.

“There’s a big effort to model how glaciers flow in Antarctica, and these models need a landscape over which glaciers can flow,” Thomson told OurAmazingPlanet. “Once these models can predict past changes, they can more accurately predict what will happen with future climate changes.”

The sediments also hold clues to the tectonic evolution of East Antarctica, and a mountain range buried beneath the vast, thick ice sheet. [Album: Stunning Photos of Antarctic Ice]

The findings are detailed in the March 2013 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

History of the ice
Lambert Graben formed during the breakup of Gondwana, an ancient supercontinent, a process that happened in stages. Antarctica, India and Africa tore apart in the Late Cretaceous (about 80 million years ago). The split created long, linear valleys oriented perpendicular to the continental coastlines. At the time, Earth’s climate was warmer than it is today, and as Antarctica moved southward, settling into its home over the South Pole, the continent teemed with plants and animals.

Scientists can partially reconstruct this past environment with fossils and through radar that peers beneath the ice to map the shapes of the rock below. A 3D map of Antarctica today shows chasms carved by glaciers, rugged mountains and other remnants of its warmer existence.

But the surveys tell nothing about how the landscape looked before the ice carved out all those features. “People have speculated when the big fjords formed under the ice,” Thomson said. “But no one knows for sure until you sample the rocks or the sediments.”

Thomson and his colleagues analyzed sediments drilled from the ocean floor just offshore of Lambert Glacier, as well as from onshore moraines, the rock piles pushed up by glaciers. Tests on minerals in the sands and muds helped them figure out when and how fast the surface eroded.

Here’s what the sediments say: From about 250 million to 34 million years ago, the region around Lambert Glacier was relatively flat, and drained by slow-moving rivers, Thomson said. About 34 million years ago, which coincides with a cooling of Earth’s climate, big glaciers appeared, shaping the spectacular valley now hidden under thick ice.

“It seemed like it occurred very early on, 34 [million] to 24 million years ago,” Thomson said. Erosion slowed dramatically as the ice sheet stabilized about 15 million years ago, he said.

Some 5,250 to 8,200 feet of rock have since disappeared, ground down by glaciers and carried away by the ice, according to the study.

“Glaciers can carve deep valleys quickly — and did so on Antarctica before it got so cold that the most of it got covered by 1 or 2 miles of thick, stationary ice,” Peter Reiners, a UA geologist and study co-author, said in a statement.

Clues to buried mountain range

Lambert Graben extends about 375 miles inland, ending at one of Antarctica’s most enigmatic features — an entombed mountain range called the Gamburtsev Mountains. Buried under the ice, the mountains rose during Gondwana’s rifting. Geologic evidence suggests two pulses of upliftfrom rifting events about 250 million years ago and 100 million years ago pushed up the jagged peaks.

But Thomson and his colleagues did not find evidence in the sediments for a second uplift phase 100 million years ago. The river sands contain minerals from the Gamburtsev Mountains, and the tiny grains suggest the mountains got their height with one tectonic push.

“This underscores both the mountain range’s remarkable age and the extraordinary degree of subglacial landscape preservation,” writes Darrel Swift in an accompanying article in Nature Geoscience. Swift, a geologist at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, was not involved in the study.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/03/08/what-antarctica-looked-like-before-ice/?intcmp=obinsite#ixzz2O9j2guAz

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Antarctic Search for Life Ends

Search for life in buried Antarctic lake called off

By Becky Oskin

Published December 27, 2012

OurAmazingPlanet

  • British-camp-deep-field.jpg

    The Union Jack flies over a field camp at Lake Ellsworth. In the background are the Ellsworth Mountains, the highest range in Antarctica. (Neil Ross/University of Edinburgh)

After fighting with the Antarctic ice for 20 hours through Christmas Eve, a British Antarctic Survey team has reluctantly called off its mission to retrieve water samples from an ancient subglacial lake.

The decision to halt drilling through the ice down toward Lake Ellsworth came after the team failed to connect the project’s main and secondary boreholes, Martin Siegert, the lead investigator for the project, said on the project’s blog.

Lake Ellsworth lies under 2 miles of ice and has been sealed off from the outside world for up to 1 million years. Scientists with the survey have been engaged in a 16-year attempt to drill down and take water samples from the lake. They say that if microbes and other forms of life are living in the frigid water, away from sunlight, those life forms may help researchers better understand the origins of life on Earth and the possible forms life could take on other planets.

The scientists were trying to connect the boreholes via a cavity located 300 meters below the ice surface. The cavity recirculates water from the main borehole and would have equalized pressure had the drill penetrated Lake Ellsworth.

Running low on supplies

‘This is, of course, hugely frustrating for us.’

– Martin Siegert, the lead investigator for the project

The camp has been on the ice since Nov. 22, and drilling started on Dec. 13, using a specially designed hot water drill. The effort to establish the connection took so much hot water and fuel that the scientists must now return to the United Kingdom and regroup for next year. [Extreme Living: Scientists at the End of the Earth]

“For reasons that are yet to be determined, the team could not establish a link between the two boreholes at 300 meters depth despite trying for over 20 hours,” wrote Siegert, a glaciologist at the University of Bristol. “During this process, hot water seeped into the porous surface layers of ice and was lost. The team attempted to replenish this water loss by digging and melting more snow, but their efforts could not compensate. The additional time taken to attempt to establish the cavity link significantly depleted the fuel stocks to such a level as to render the remaining operation unviable. Reluctantly the team had no option but to discontinue the program for this season.

“This is, of course, hugely frustrating for us, but we have learned a lot this year,” Siegert said. “By the end the equipment was working well, and much of it has now been fully field tested. A full report on the field season will be compiled when the engineers and program manager return to United Kingdom.”

Drilling in extreme conditions

The harshness of the Antarctic environment and the complete darkness of winter there mean that the team can be at the site only during the comparatively mild months of austral spring and summer, from November through January.

This was not the first snag in the project. A circuit used in the main boiler that supplies hot water to the drill burned out twice earlier this month, forcing the team to await resupply.

At the time, Siegert noted that such difficulties are not unusual when working in Antarctica. “It’s a very hostile environment; it’s very difficult to do things smoothly,” he said on the project’s blog.

The drill would have crunched through the ice to the fresh lake water, then sent 24 titanium canisters through the borehole to take water samples. When the drill first started up, the team had to shovel snow in shifts for three days and three nights to melt enough for the needed 15,850 gallons of water, according to the project’s blog.

Race to find life

The British group is one of several teams racing to recover water samples from lakes trapped beneath the Antarctic ice.

A group of Russian scientists is drilling down into the waters of Lake Vostok, the largest of Antarctica’s buried lakes. The team reached the lake’s waters during the last drilling season, on Feb. 5, but the few microbes it found in the retrieved samples were all contaminants from the drilling apparatus.

However, another group of scientists has found a thriving community of microbes in Lake Vida, another buried Antarctic lake that is thought to have been isolated from the rest of the world for about 2,800 years.

In early 2013 an American team is planning to drill to hidden lakes in West Antarctica.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/12/27/mission-to-drill-into-buried-antarctic-lake-called-off/?intcmp=trending#ixzz2GNst0c7n

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