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A team of scientists and engineers has for the first time successfully drilled over two kilometres through the ice sheet in West Antarctica using hot water. This research will help understand how the region will respond to a warming climate.
The 11-person team has been working on the Rutford Ice Stream for the last 12 weeks in freezing temperatures at low as minus 30 degrees Celsius. On Tuesday 8 January, following a 63 hour continuous round-the-clock drilling operation, the team broke through to the sediment 2152 metres below the surface.
String - Instruments - Borehole - Water - Pressure
A string of instruments were fed through the borehole which will record water pressure, ice temperature and deformation within the ice around it.
The project, which is named BEAMISH, has been 20 years in the planning, and was attempted in 2004 without success.
Scientist - Dr - Andy - Smith - British
Lead scientist Dr. Andy Smith from British Antarctic Survey (BAS), who is still working on the Rutford Ice Stream, says:
"I have waited for this moment for...
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