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Antarctic Album: Drilling Into Subglacial Lake Whillans

Lake Whillans expedition Antarctica

Lake Whillans expedition

(Image credit: WISSARD)

The cross-country trek to Lake Whillans.

Whillans Ice Stream 2002

Whillans Ice Stream 2002

(Image credit: Ted Scambos, National Snow and Ice Data Center)

This satellite image from 2002 shows the Whillans Ice Stream, which flows onto Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf.

Watching drilling progess at Lake Whillans in January 2013.

Lake Whillans drilling

(Image credit: Reed Scherer)

Watching drilling progess at Lake Whillans in January 2013.

The Lake Whillans drill site.

Lake Whillans drilling

(Image credit: Reed Scherer, Northern Illinois University)

The Lake Whillans drill site.

WISSARD borehole at Lake Whillans

WISSARD borehole at Lake Whillans

(Image credit: Dr. Alberto Behar, JPL/ASU; underwater camera funded by NSF and NASA.)

The WISSARD borehole at Subglacial Lake Whillans — this deep section of the borehole is about 0.5 meters (20 inches) in diameter and shows corrugations due to turbulence during melting.

The first look at the bottom of Lake Whillans

Lake Whillans muddy bottom

(Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A mini-submarine built mainly by students gave the world this picture, the first look at the bottom of a buried Antarctic lake.

A coccoid-shaped microbe with an attached sediment particle from subglacial Lake Whillans.

Lake Whillans life

(Image credit: Trista Vick-Majors)

A coccoid-shaped microbe with an attached sediment particle from subglacial Lake Whillans.

Bacteria cultured from water samples from subglacial Lake Whillans.

Lake Whillans life

(Image credit: Brent Christner)

Bacteria cultured from water samples from subglacial Lake Whillans.

Live Science Staff
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