Probe Technology for the Direct Measurement and Sampling of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake

Matt Mowlem, Maria-Nefeli Tsaloglou, Edward Waugh, Cedric Floquet, Kevin Saw, Lee Fowler, Robin Brown, David Pearce, James Wyatt, Alexander Beaton, Mario Brito, Dominic Hodgson, Gwyn Griffiths, Michael Bentley, David Blake, Linda Capper, Rachel Clarke, Charles Cockell, Hugh Corr, W. HarrisChristopher Hill, Richard Hindmarsh, Edward King, Henry Lamb, Barbara Maher, Keith Makinson, John Parnell, John Priscu, Andrés Rivera, Neil Ross, Martin Siegert, Andrew Smith, Andrew Tait, Martyn Tranter, Jemma Wadham, Brian Whalley, John Woodward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The direct measurement and sampling of Ellsworth Subglacial Lake is a multidisciplinary investigation of life in extreme environments and West Antarctic ice sheet history. The project's aims are (1) to determine whether, and in what form, microbial life exists in Antarctic subglacial lakes and (2) to reveal the post-Pliocene history of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. A U.K. consortium has planned an extensive logistics and equipment development program that will deliver the necessary resources. This will include hot water drill technology for lake access through approximately 3.2 km of ice, a probe to make measurements with sensors and to collect water and sediment samples, and a percussion corer to acquire an ˜3–4 m sediment core. This chapter details the requirements and early stages of design and development of the probe system. This includes the instrumentation package, water samplers, and a mini gravity corer mounted on the front of the probe. Initial design concepts for supporting equipment required at the drill site to deploy and operate the probe are also described. A review of the literature describing relevant technology is presented. The project will implement environmental protection in line with principles set out by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAntarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments
EditorsMartin Siegert, Mahlon Kennicut, R. A. Binschadler
Place of PublicationWashington, DC.
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
ISBN (Print)978-0875904825
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameGeophysical Monograph Series
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
ISSN (Electronic)0065-8448


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