Articles | Volume 17, issue 3
Brief communication
06 Mar 2023
Brief communication |  | 06 Mar 2023

Brief communication: New sonde to unravel the mystery of polar subglacial lakes

Youhong Sun, Bing Li, Xiaopeng Fan, Yuansheng Li, Guopin Li, Haibin Yu, Hongzhi Li, Dongliang Wang, Nan Zhang, Da Gong, Rusheng Wang, Yazhou Li, and Pavel G. Talalay

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Cited articles

Alekhina, I., Ekaykin, A., Moskvin, A., and Lipenkov, V.: Chemical characteristics of the ice cores obtained after the first unsealing of subglacial Lake Vostok, in: Exploration of Subsurface Antarctica: Uncovering Past Changes and Modern Processes, Siegert, M. J., Jamieson, S. S. R., and White, D. A., Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 461, 187,, 2017. 
Bar-Cohen, Y. and Zacny, K. (Eds): Advances in extraterrestrial drilling ground, ice, and underwater, vol. II, Advances in terrestrial and extraterrestrial drilling: ground, ice, and underwater, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, 2021. 
Blake, E. W. and Price, B.: A proposed sterile sampling system for Antarctic subglacial lakes, Mem. Natl. Inst. Polar Res., 56, 253–263, 2002. 
Fleckenstein, W. W. and Eustes, A. W.: Subglacial Antarctic lake environment access methodology: a keystone in a changing world, in: Proceedings of the ISAES X, USGS Open-File Report 2007-1047, Extended Abstract 033, 4 pp., 2007. 
Li, Y., Talalay, P. G., Sysoev, M. A., Zagorodnov, V. S., Li, X., and Fan, X.: Thermal heads for melt drilling to subglacial lakes: Design and testing, Astrobiology, 20, 1–15,, 2020. 
Short summary
The discovery of polar subglacial lakes, rivers and streams has opened a new frontier of science within a short span. We present a new environmentally friendly approach to study subglacial reservoirs based on the concept of freezing-in instrumented probes carrying a tethering power-signal cable. In January 2022, the probe was successfully tested in East Antarctica: it reached the base of the ice sheet and returned to the ice surface with samples of melted water from the basal ice.