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All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!

 
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 07:49 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
This story seems weird to me. I don't pretend to know anything about drilling at those depths but why does it take 24 hours to drill down just 2 meters in ice? I guess I could see if it were solid rock or something like that but ice? Heck my little ice auger can cut an 8" hole through 24 inches of ice in under a minute. Also, at those depths, why wouldn't the water pressure break the remaining ice at the bottom of the hole?

Anyone know the answers to these questions?
 Quoting: Hawgzilla


The water pressure will eventually help break the ice remaining at the bottom. In fact, the pressure being released has been discussed amongst the scientist who are working on this and other drillings happening in antarctica. They have hypthosiezed that pressure being released could throw off the balance of the ice sheet creating "unknown damage."

Lake Vostok is not an isolated lake. There is a massive network of subterranean lakes including Vostok.

But anyway.. at the end of Lake Vostok is what’s known as a gigantic masscon—a mass concentration of metal, very similar to the masscons they discovered on the Moon — a gigantic, circular-shaped, metallic object deep under the ice at the end of Lake Vostok.

So between the "unknown damage" this could create and the masscon there has been quite a few delays in the prusuit of this objective.
--
But it is our opinion that what they are doing now, right now, is rushed. The objectives a few are prusuing may have direct consequences to the many.
 Quoting: Kori 3722011


The Russians have been drilling for years at that location. Think they will think twice now? Doubtful, I sure hope they have covered all scenarios!
 Quoting: RazorX


they are in the dark.

[link to www.bbc.co.uk]

From article:

"We don't know what awaits us down there," he said, adding that personnel at the station have been working shifts, drilling 24 hours a day.

Overlaid by nearly 4km of ice, it has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Some scientists think the ice cap above and at the edges has created a hydrostatic seal with the surface, preventing lake water from escaping or anything else from getting inside.
>>>>>

It was at the Vostok station that the coldest temperature ever found on Earth (-89°C) was recorded on 21 July 1983.

Normally, water in such extreme conditions exists only in one state: ice. And when, in the 1970s British scientists in Antarctica received strange radar readings at the site, the presence of a liquid, freshwater lake below the ice did not instantly spring to mind.
>>>>
Up until three km down, drilling is usually relatively easy - it has been done in Greenland and here in Antarctica. But after three km and as we near the bottom [of the ice sheet], the ice temperature gets very close to the ice melting point, and all sorts of problems begin," said Dr Ekaikin.
>>>
But the Russians working in Antarctica believe that the risks are virtually non existent and that the possibility of a great discovery makes it entirely worthwhile.

In 2006, researchers reported evidence for a network of rivers under the ice which connect Antarctica's sub-glacial lakes. Some scientists think this could spell trouble for the prospects of finding microbial life that has evolved "independently".


-------

They are doing not thinking.. surprised?
Imagine if the earth was sentient being, we are poking away at the last sacred untouched spot in the name of DISCOVERY.
 Quoting: Kori 3722011


Is it high pressure that is keeping it liquified?

Also, is the masscon highly magnetized? If so, then at one point in its life it was exposed to vast amounts of energy (charge/electricity).

hi kori
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 07:51 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Reminds me of the movie 'The Abyss' (great movie) where we go poking into the unknown and distant places of the earth.

Why does it seem easier for man to go to the moon, than find all the secrects of our own planet..It does seem easier somehow. ??
 Quoting: lionheart 4677495


Because pressure is far worse an obstacle than lack of pressure.
lionheart
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01/18/2012 07:53 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Antarctica is also the biggest Meteoroid impact on the planet. The rings from the impact go almost up to the equator... All realized from Radar in space. :-)
So maybe aliens will climb out of the hole and say "thanks man, we've been trapped there for like forever". LOL
 Quoting: GeekOfTheWeek


Them aliens like to get us from the underside.

sideways
 Quoting: RazorX


Do you know what the number one selling item at Wal-Mart is??? Bananas!! See how prolific they are..
lionheart
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01/18/2012 07:56 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Reminds me of the movie 'The Abyss' (great movie) where we go poking into the unknown and distant places of the earth.

Why does it seem easier for man to go to the moon, than find all the secrects of our own planet..It does seem easier somehow. ??
 Quoting: lionheart 4677495


Because pressure is far worse an obstacle than lack of pressure.
 Quoting: SickScent


Great answer! Thanks.
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 07:59 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
[link to upload.wikimedia.org]

under the ice map. certain areas look strangely regular to me, in terms of some of the 'lakes.'

many of the secrets of the world are buried down there.
Jackasster

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01/18/2012 08:13 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
i read the first 3 pages, dunno if this as been brought up, the say they filled the giant hole with anti-freeze, so that it wont freeze for years to come

then it says that the immense pressure might blow the whole thing up

wont the anti-freeze kill what ever life is there when they reach water, wont the anti-freeze just flow in the lake
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 08:16 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
i read the first 3 pages, dunno if this as been brought up, the say they filled the giant hole with anti-freeze, so that it wont freeze for years to come

then it says that the immense pressure might blow the whole thing up

wont the anti-freeze kill what ever life is there when they reach water, wont the anti-freeze just flow in the lake
 Quoting: Jackasster


They removed the anti-freeze before they continued this year.
Jackasster

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01/18/2012 08:19 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
ok cool, don't want a Kraken that smells like my old 76 chevelle leaking radiator
El Quisqueyano

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01/18/2012 08:24 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
This week, a Russian team drilling into Lake Vostok in the center of the Antarctic continent is likely to break through the ice to water. It will be the first time that a subglacial lake has been breached. These modern-day explorers hope to discover whether Vostok, which at 5000 km 3 is the third largest lake on the planet, is teeming with hidden, cold-loving life that could have evolved separately from the rest of the world for hundreds of thousands of years.

Microbiologist John Priscu of Montana State University in Bozeman, who was one of the original planners of the Vostok mission, has been getting regular updates from the Russian team. As of 13 January, they had reached a depth of 3737.5 meters, about 15 meters away from liquid water. With three teams drilling around the clock and making progress at an average of 2 meters per day, Priscu says they're on track to break through within the week. "This is an epic event. I really wish them luck," he says. "I wish I was out there with them."

After drilling 3720 meters last February, time ran out for the team and the project was stymied just 29.5 meters from its destination as winter set in. Over the summer, they modified their drill bits and now the team is back at work with plenty of time to spare. They had left the large hole filled with antifreeze, so it was ready and waiting for them. It will remain open for years to come, Priscu says, potentially allowing other teams to sample the waters in the future.

It's a nerve-wracking moment for the drillers, however. The lake water is under immense pressure, making it imperative that the team's calculations are correct. In the worst case scenario, Priscu says, "water could come up the hole and degas explosively, blowing out the whole borehole."

[link to news.sciencemag.org]

Obviously, this is uncharted territory, a first for mankind.
sounds like many things could go wrong. I wish them all the best!

This is incredible news! For 14 millian years it has been sealed under the ice. If life exists in Lake Vostok it will further the evidence that life can exist elsewhere in the cosmos, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and beyond.

If the Russians stay on schedule, they should breach the lake by tomorrow!

I can't wait to hear about their findings.

RazorX
 Quoting: RazorX 1378340


Will they do a Live stream?
 Quoting: El Quisqueyano


I haven't heard of any live stream, but there will be a live Q&A with some scientists from Antarctica tomorrow @ 3:00pm EST.

[link to news.sciencemag.org]
 Quoting: RazorX


Thanks. Will add to my to do list.

Namaste.
[link to skreened.com]

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers! And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee!" Ezekiel 25:17

"Worst come to worst, my PEOPLES come first" Dilated Peoples
Fire & Ice

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01/18/2012 08:31 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
What I am having trouble wrapping my brain around is, if the water in the lake is 65 degrees, and has been there for 15 million years, why hasn't it consumed the glacier? Does the ice regenerate itself, faster then it can melt, does it create a barrier of imovable object, and irrisistable force? Are the magnetics of the mascon at play to keep a barrier around the lake, preventing the temp of the lake from consuming the glacier?
The only constant is change

The winds of anger, blows out the candle of intelligence

"Slowly, like moisture entering the dying tree trunk, slowly filling and rotting it, so did the world and inertia creep into Siddhartha's soul; it slowly filled his soul, made it heavy, made it tired, sent it to sleep"

"One must find the source within one's own Self, one must possess it"
Siddhartha
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 08:34 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
:doomisonon:
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 08:42 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Once again humans have to stick their finger up Mother Earth's ass....usually no good comes from stuff like that.

Interesting thread OP, def something to keep watching.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 08:43 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
This week, a Russian team drilling into Lake Vostok in the center of the Antarctic continent is likely to break through the ice to water. It will be the first time that a subglacial lake has been breached. These modern-day explorers hope to discover whether Vostok, which at 5000 km 3 is the third largest lake on the planet, is teeming with hidden, cold-loving life that could have evolved separately from the rest of the world for hundreds of thousands of years.

Microbiologist John Priscu of Montana State University in Bozeman, who was one of the original planners of the Vostok mission, has been getting regular updates from the Russian team. As of 13 January, they had reached a depth of 3737.5 meters, about 15 meters away from liquid water. With three teams drilling around the clock and making progress at an average of 2 meters per day, Priscu says they're on track to break through within the week. "This is an epic event. I really wish them luck," he says. "I wish I was out there with them."

After drilling 3720 meters last February, time ran out for the team and the project was stymied just 29.5 meters from its destination as winter set in. Over the summer, they modified their drill bits and now the team is back at work with plenty of time to spare. They had left the large hole filled with antifreeze, so it was ready and waiting for them. It will remain open for years to come, Priscu says, potentially allowing other teams to sample the waters in the future.

It's a nerve-wracking moment for the drillers, however. The lake water is under immense pressure, making it imperative that the team's calculations are correct. In the worst case scenario, Priscu says, "water could come up the hole and degas explosively, blowing out the whole borehole."

[link to news.sciencemag.org]

Obviously, this is uncharted territory, a first for mankind.
sounds like many things could go wrong. I wish them all the best!

This is incredible news! For 14 millian years it has been sealed under the ice. If life exists in Lake Vostok it will further the evidence that life can exist elsewhere in the cosmos, such as Jupiter's moon Europa and beyond.

If the Russians stay on schedule, they should breach the lake by tomorrow!

I can't wait to hear about their findings.

RazorX
 Quoting: RazorX 1378340


Love to get fresh water from there.. (probably the cleanest water in the World)

Idol1
 Quoting: Future Viewer 1344660


Hey, and no flouride too!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 08:45 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Interesting articles here too.

[link to s8int.com]

Lake Vostok is located 2.48 miles (four kilometers) beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. The lake, and more than 70 other lakes deep beneath the polar plateau, are part of a large, sub-glacial environment that has been isolated from the atmosphere since Antarctica became covered with ice more than 15 million years ago. Moffett Field - Aug 12, 2003

Water released from Lake Vostok, deep beneath the south polar ice sheet, could gush like a popped can of soda if not contained, opening the lake to possible contamination and posing a potential health hazard to NASA and university researchers.

A team of scientists that recently investigated the levels of dissolved gases in the remote Antarctic lake found the concentrations of gas in the lake water were much higher than expected, measuring 2.65 quarts (2.5 liters) of nitrogen and oxygen per 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of water.

According to scientists, this high ratio of gases trapped under the ice will cause a gas-driven "fizz" when the water is released.

"Our research suggests that U.S. and Russian teams studying the lake should be careful when drilling because high gas concentrations could make the water unstable and potentially dangerous," said Dr. Chris McKay of NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.

Serious doom potential!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 08:48 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Once again humans have to stick their finger up Mother Earth's ass....usually no good comes from stuff like that.

Interesting thread OP, def something to keep watching.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9096274


Well, barring any delays, they should breach the lake tomorrow.
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 08:57 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Yeah, just think of the microbes that could be released...
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 08:57 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...if we don't know whats down there,how do we know it's "teeming" with life ?...
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 09:00 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Once again humans have to stick their finger up Mother Earth's ass....usually no good comes from stuff like that.

Interesting thread OP, def something to keep watching.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 9096274


Well, barring any delays, they should breach the lake tomorrow.
 Quoting: RazorX


I wonder if all the weird noises the last days and especially this January heard across the globe could have something to do with that drilling and pressure being released? Sure is interesting and I'm going to watch this wide eyed bushy tailed.
Thanks for keeping us updated OP!
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 09:01 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...if we don't know whats down there,how do we know it's "teeming" with life ?...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1290895


They have come close to breaching the lake and with recovered ice samples have already discovered microbes.

Here is another link (older I think). Very good Read though.

[link to www.enterprisemission.com]

The Lake, which is still liquid and not frozen, has been isolated under the ice sheet since anywhere from 13,000 to 14 million years ago, depending on who you talk to (thus, who's estimating precisely "when" the ice last completely covered the Continent). The water in the Lake (determined by surface thermal scans) ranges from 50 to 65 degrees F, clearly indicating a sub-terranean heat source. In addition, the whole Lake is covered by a sloping air "dome" several thousand feet high that has formed (from the "hot" water melting the overlying ice) just above the Lake's surface. Core samples taken by the Russians a couple years ago at their Vostok Base -- when they drilled down very close to the bottom of the ice sheet -- have revealed the presence of microbes, nutrients and various gases -- like methane -- embedded in the clear, refrozen Lake water just above the "dome." Such items are typical signatures of biological processes. The Lake, therefore, has all the ingredients of an incredible scientific find: a completely "isolated" eco-system -- water, heat, respired gases and (judging from the unique microorganisms that scientists were actually able to culture in the United States and Russia, when retrieved from their icy prison) ... current biological activity. As the actual scope and composition of the Lake became clearer from about 1998 on, NASA began to see it as an ideal test bed for its eventual plans to drill through the ice and search the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa. Accordingly, JPL received NASA grants to develop unique "sterile" drilling technology, conduct actually drilling and probe experiments in other terrestrial environments, and to prepare a Plan to actually enter Lake Vostok by 2002.

But, coincident with a stunning new discovery, JPL has evidently now backed off these ambitious exploration plans.

According to Scientific American, the National Science Foundation has now suddenly cancelled plans to penetrate the Lake with a robotic probe by that target date: 2002. The ostensible reason is "concern over environmental contamination." As noted earlier, core samples returned from the ice refrozen just 100 yards above the Lake's "air dome," contained a plethora of microorganismins of various categories, including some never seen before.
Fire & Ice

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01/18/2012 09:06 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...if we don't know whats down there,how do we know it's "teeming" with life ?...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1290895


They don't, thats why they are drilling. The conditions are right to support life, but they won't know for sure until they crack it open. I have a bad feeling they are about to open Pandora's box. I am not so worried about what they will or will not find in the lake, as I am about disturbing a primordial balance in this ecosystem, which in turn could affect the balance of this planet.
The only constant is change

The winds of anger, blows out the candle of intelligence

"Slowly, like moisture entering the dying tree trunk, slowly filling and rotting it, so did the world and inertia creep into Siddhartha's soul; it slowly filled his soul, made it heavy, made it tired, sent it to sleep"

"One must find the source within one's own Self, one must possess it"
Siddhartha
Jackasster

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Canada
01/18/2012 09:06 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
should i bring in my tomatoes !!!!
Anonymous Coward
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01/18/2012 09:07 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
should i bring in my tomatoes !!!!
 Quoting: Jackasster


I wouldn't only bring them in, I'd eat some and can the rest for a rainy day.

chuckle
Fire & Ice

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01/18/2012 09:13 PM

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...if we don't know whats down there,how do we know it's "teeming" with life ?...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1290895


They have come close to breaching the lake and with recovered ice samples have already discovered microbes.

Here is another link (older I think). Very good Read though.

[link to www.enterprisemission.com]

The Lake, which is still liquid and not frozen, has been isolated under the ice sheet since anywhere from 13,000 to 14 million years ago, depending on who you talk to (thus, who's estimating precisely "when" the ice last completely covered the Continent). The water in the Lake (determined by surface thermal scans) ranges from 50 to 65 degrees F, clearly indicating a sub-terranean heat source. In addition, the whole Lake is covered by a sloping air "dome" several thousand feet high that has formed (from the "hot" water melting the overlying ice) just above the Lake's surface. Core samples taken by the Russians a couple years ago at their Vostok Base -- when they drilled down very close to the bottom of the ice sheet -- have revealed the presence of microbes, nutrients and various gases -- like methane -- embedded in the clear, refrozen Lake water just above the "dome." Such items are typical signatures of biological processes. The Lake, therefore, has all the ingredients of an incredible scientific find: a completely "isolated" eco-system -- water, heat, respired gases and (judging from the unique microorganisms that scientists were actually able to culture in the United States and Russia, when retrieved from their icy prison) ... current biological activity. As the actual scope and composition of the Lake became clearer from about 1998 on, NASA began to see it as an ideal test bed for its eventual plans to drill through the ice and search the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa. Accordingly, JPL received NASA grants to develop unique "sterile" drilling technology, conduct actually drilling and probe experiments in other terrestrial environments, and to prepare a Plan to actually enter Lake Vostok by 2002.

But, coincident with a stunning new discovery, JPL has evidently now backed off these ambitious exploration plans.

According to Scientific American, the National Science Foundation has now suddenly cancelled plans to penetrate the Lake with a robotic probe by that target date: 2002. The ostensible reason is "concern over environmental contamination." As noted earlier, core samples returned from the ice refrozen just 100 yards above the Lake's "air dome," contained a plethora of microorganismins of various categories, including some never seen before.
 Quoting: RazorX


Methane could explain why the warm water has not consumed the glacier, but also could pose an enormous danger. Imagine a methane explosion that size, at the depth. It would be like embedding a stick of dynamite in a watermelon.
The only constant is change

The winds of anger, blows out the candle of intelligence

"Slowly, like moisture entering the dying tree trunk, slowly filling and rotting it, so did the world and inertia creep into Siddhartha's soul; it slowly filled his soul, made it heavy, made it tired, sent it to sleep"

"One must find the source within one's own Self, one must possess it"
Siddhartha
kori
User ID: 1688574
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01/18/2012 09:15 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...


The water pressure will eventually help break the ice remaining at the bottom. In fact, the pressure being released has been discussed amongst the scientist who are working on this and other drillings happening in antarctica. They have hypthosiezed that pressure being released could throw off the balance of the ice sheet creating "unknown damage."

Lake Vostok is not an isolated lake. There is a massive network of subterranean lakes including Vostok.

But anyway.. at the end of Lake Vostok is what’s known as a gigantic masscon—a mass concentration of metal, very similar to the masscons they discovered on the Moon — a gigantic, circular-shaped, metallic object deep under the ice at the end of Lake Vostok.

So between the "unknown damage" this could create and the masscon there has been quite a few delays in the prusuit of this objective.
--
But it is our opinion that what they are doing now, right now, is rushed. The objectives a few are prusuing may have direct consequences to the many.
 Quoting: Kori 3722011


The Russians have been drilling for years at that location. Think they will think twice now? Doubtful, I sure hope they have covered all scenarios!
 Quoting: RazorX


they are in the dark.

[link to www.bbc.co.uk]

From article:

"We don't know what awaits us down there," he said, adding that personnel at the station have been working shifts, drilling 24 hours a day.

Overlaid by nearly 4km of ice, it has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Some scientists think the ice cap above and at the edges has created a hydrostatic seal with the surface, preventing lake water from escaping or anything else from getting inside.
>>>>>

It was at the Vostok station that the coldest temperature ever found on Earth (-89°C) was recorded on 21 July 1983.

Normally, water in such extreme conditions exists only in one state: ice. And when, in the 1970s British scientists in Antarctica received strange radar readings at the site, the presence of a liquid, freshwater lake below the ice did not instantly spring to mind.
>>>>
Up until three km down, drilling is usually relatively easy - it has been done in Greenland and here in Antarctica. But after three km and as we near the bottom [of the ice sheet], the ice temperature gets very close to the ice melting point, and all sorts of problems begin," said Dr Ekaikin.
>>>
But the Russians working in Antarctica believe that the risks are virtually non existent and that the possibility of a great discovery makes it entirely worthwhile.

In 2006, researchers reported evidence for a network of rivers under the ice which connect Antarctica's sub-glacial lakes. Some scientists think this could spell trouble for the prospects of finding microbial life that has evolved "independently".


-------

They are doing not thinking.. surprised?
Imagine if the earth was sentient being, we are poking away at the last sacred untouched spot in the name of DISCOVERY.
 Quoting: Kori 3722011


Is it high pressure that is keeping it liquified?

Also, is the masscon highly magnetized? If so, then at one point in its life it was exposed to vast amounts of energy (charge/electricity).

hi kori
 Quoting: SickScent


hi Ss

I read somewhere the reason, but my internet is down and I can't look up the sources as easily on my phone. But, im sure you can find the answer on the net, well at least theories.

Yes I believe there is something to the idea that masscon is magnetised.

[link to science.nasa.gov]
Lunar mascons make most low lunar orbits unstable," says Konopliv. As a satellite passes 50 or 60 miles overhead, the mascons pull it forward, back, left, right, or down, the exact direction and magnitude of the tugging depends on the satellite's trajectory. Absent any periodic boosts from onboard rockets to correct the orbit, most satellites released into low lunar orbits (under about 60 miles or 100 km) will eventually crash into the Moon. PFS-2 released by Apollo 16 was simply a dramatic worst-case example. But even its longer-lived predecessor PFS-1 (released by Apollo 15) literally bit the dust in January 1973 after less than a year and a half.
xmit
Madame X

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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
i read the first 3 pages, dunno if this as been brought up, the say they filled the giant hole with anti-freeze, so that it wont freeze for years to come

then it says that the immense pressure might blow the whole thing up

wont the anti-freeze kill what ever life is there when they reach water, wont the anti-freeze just flow in the lake
 Quoting: Jackasster


They removed the anti-freeze before they continued this year.
 Quoting: RazorX


What type of antifreeze did they use that they could remove it? The only form I am familiar with is liquid.

SickScent this question is for you if you don't mind.
What happens when the water comes up the pipe and hits the frigid air? I know what happens when I throw it in the air here when it is -40. Heck I can do it today. But what will the pressure do to it. Will it turn into ice shard weapons, courtesy of mother nature? If the answer has already been posted, sorry, I admit I didn't read the whole thread. Thanks.
"The wise man's home is the universe." ~ Democrites

Catch the blue train...somewhere down that crazy river.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 09:18 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...if we don't know whats down there,how do we know it's "teeming" with life ?...
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1290895


They have come close to breaching the lake and with recovered ice samples have already discovered microbes.

Here is another link (older I think). Very good Read though.

[link to www.enterprisemission.com]

The Lake, which is still liquid and not frozen, has been isolated under the ice sheet since anywhere from 13,000 to 14 million years ago, depending on who you talk to (thus, who's estimating precisely "when" the ice last completely covered the Continent). The water in the Lake (determined by surface thermal scans) ranges from 50 to 65 degrees F, clearly indicating a sub-terranean heat source. In addition, the whole Lake is covered by a sloping air "dome" several thousand feet high that has formed (from the "hot" water melting the overlying ice) just above the Lake's surface. Core samples taken by the Russians a couple years ago at their Vostok Base -- when they drilled down very close to the bottom of the ice sheet -- have revealed the presence of microbes, nutrients and various gases -- like methane -- embedded in the clear, refrozen Lake water just above the "dome." Such items are typical signatures of biological processes. The Lake, therefore, has all the ingredients of an incredible scientific find: a completely "isolated" eco-system -- water, heat, respired gases and (judging from the unique microorganisms that scientists were actually able to culture in the United States and Russia, when retrieved from their icy prison) ... current biological activity. As the actual scope and composition of the Lake became clearer from about 1998 on, NASA began to see it as an ideal test bed for its eventual plans to drill through the ice and search the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa. Accordingly, JPL received NASA grants to develop unique "sterile" drilling technology, conduct actually drilling and probe experiments in other terrestrial environments, and to prepare a Plan to actually enter Lake Vostok by 2002.

But, coincident with a stunning new discovery, JPL has evidently now backed off these ambitious exploration plans.

According to Scientific American, the National Science Foundation has now suddenly cancelled plans to penetrate the Lake with a robotic probe by that target date: 2002. The ostensible reason is "concern over environmental contamination." As noted earlier, core samples returned from the ice refrozen just 100 yards above the Lake's "air dome," contained a plethora of microorganismins of various categories, including some never seen before.
 Quoting: RazorX


Methane could explain why the warm water has not consumed the glacier, but also could pose an enormous danger. Imagine a methane explosion that size, at the depth. It would be like embedding a stick of dynamite in a watermelon.
 Quoting: Fire & Ice


Well they didn't say Methane dome.

the whole Lake is covered by a sloping air "dome" several thousand feet high that has formed (from the "hot" water melting the overlying ice) just above the Lake's surface.

but, if it is a Methane pocket above the lake it could be seriously dangerous ground their treading on.
Signs
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01/18/2012 09:19 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
Which seal was it being broken that released the plague?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 09:22 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
...


The Russians have been drilling for years at that location. Think they will think twice now? Doubtful, I sure hope they have covered all scenarios!
 Quoting: RazorX


they are in the dark.

[link to www.bbc.co.uk]

From article:

"We don't know what awaits us down there," he said, adding that personnel at the station have been working shifts, drilling 24 hours a day.

Overlaid by nearly 4km of ice, it has been isolated from the rest of the world for millions of years. Some scientists think the ice cap above and at the edges has created a hydrostatic seal with the surface, preventing lake water from escaping or anything else from getting inside.
>>>>>

It was at the Vostok station that the coldest temperature ever found on Earth (-89°C) was recorded on 21 July 1983.

Normally, water in such extreme conditions exists only in one state: ice. And when, in the 1970s British scientists in Antarctica received strange radar readings at the site, the presence of a liquid, freshwater lake below the ice did not instantly spring to mind.
>>>>
Up until three km down, drilling is usually relatively easy - it has been done in Greenland and here in Antarctica. But after three km and as we near the bottom [of the ice sheet], the ice temperature gets very close to the ice melting point, and all sorts of problems begin," said Dr Ekaikin.
>>>
But the Russians working in Antarctica believe that the risks are virtually non existent and that the possibility of a great discovery makes it entirely worthwhile.

In 2006, researchers reported evidence for a network of rivers under the ice which connect Antarctica's sub-glacial lakes. Some scientists think this could spell trouble for the prospects of finding microbial life that has evolved "independently".


-------

They are doing not thinking.. surprised?
Imagine if the earth was sentient being, we are poking away at the last sacred untouched spot in the name of DISCOVERY.
 Quoting: Kori 3722011


Is it high pressure that is keeping it liquified?

Also, is the masscon highly magnetized? If so, then at one point in its life it was exposed to vast amounts of energy (charge/electricity).

hi kori
 Quoting: SickScent


hi Ss

I read somewhere the reason, but my internet is down and I can't look up the sources as easily on my phone. But, im sure you can find the answer on the net, well at least theories.

Yes I believe there is something to the idea that masscon is magnetised.

[link to science.nasa.gov]
Lunar mascons make most low lunar orbits unstable," says Konopliv. As a satellite passes 50 or 60 miles overhead, the mascons pull it forward, back, left, right, or down, the exact direction and magnitude of the tugging depends on the satellite's trajectory. Absent any periodic boosts from onboard rockets to correct the orbit, most satellites released into low lunar orbits (under about 60 miles or 100 km) will eventually crash into the Moon. PFS-2 released by Apollo 16 was simply a dramatic worst-case example. But even its longer-lived predecessor PFS-1 (released by Apollo 15) literally bit the dust in January 1973 after less than a year and a half.
xmit
 Quoting: kori 1688574


From what I read it is highly magnetised. So much so, our satellites picked it up. This mascon is huge though, roughly 65 miles square. Wow!
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01/18/2012 09:24 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
This story seems weird to me. I don't pretend to know anything about drilling at those depths but why does it take 24 hours to drill down just 2 meters in ice? I guess I could see if it were solid rock or something like that but ice? Heck my little ice auger can cut an 8" hole through 24 inches of ice in under a minute.
 Quoting: Hawgzilla


I thought the same thing, Kilometers, maybe?
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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01/18/2012 09:29 PM
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Re: All Eyes on Lake Vostok...To Be Breached Today!!!
This story seems weird to me. I don't pretend to know anything about drilling at those depths but why does it take 24 hours to drill down just 2 meters in ice? I guess I could see if it were solid rock or something like that but ice? Heck my little ice auger can cut an 8" hole through 24 inches of ice in under a minute.
 Quoting: Hawgzilla


I thought the same thing, Kilometers, maybe?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 807883


It's Russian tech, cmon!

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