Antarctic test of novel ice drill poised to begin

It’s a chance to get the kinks out before an American team deploys the system in January to bore for the first time into a pristine, subglacial lake

By Janet Raloff, 19:43 PM December 14, 2012

ROSS ICE SHELF, ANTARCTICA — Any day now, a team of 40 scientists and support personnel expects to begin shoveling ice and snow into a melting bin. Over the next 24 to 36 hours, they’ll send the resulting 90 degree Celsius water down through a clean hose that they’ll unspool from above. They’ll use the warm, high pressure jet to bore a 30-centimeter hole through 83 meters of ice. Once it breaks through to the sea below, they’ll have a few days to quickly sample life from water before the hol...

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