21 Jun 2022
21 Jun 2022
Status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

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

Youhong Sun1,2, Xiaopeng Fan1, Bing Li2, Yuansheng Li3, Guopin Li4, Haibin Yu5, Hongzhi Li6, Dongliang Wang7, Nan Zhang1, Da Gong1, Rusheng Wang1, Yazhou Li2, and Pavel G. Talalay1 Youhong Sun et al.
  • 1Polar Research Center, Jilin University, Changchun, China
  • 2China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
  • 3Polar Research Institute of China, Shanghai, China
  • 4Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics and Technology, National Astronomical Observatories, CAS, China
  • 5College of Electronics and Information, Hangzhou Dianzi University, China
  • 6National Ocean Technology Center, Tianjin, China
  • 7Aerospace System Engineering Shanghai (805), Shanghai, China

Abstract. The newly developed RECoverable Autonomous Sonde (RECAS) allows sampling and analysis of subglacial water while the subglacial lake remains isolated from the surface. The sonde was successfully tested in East Antarctica during 2021–2022 field season: it reached the ice sheet base at the depth of 200.3 m, sampled melted water from basal ice and recorded the parameters (pressure, temperature, pH, and conductivity) of melted water. Then the sonde returned to the ice surface. The average downward penetration rate was 1.85 m h-1, and the average upward penetration rate was 2.94 m h-1.

Youhong Sun et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on tc-2022-100', Kris Zacny, 30 Jun 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Pavel G. Talalay, 01 Jul 2022
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', Kris Zacny, 01 Jul 2022
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Pavel G. Talalay, 23 Sep 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on tc-2022-100', Bernd Dachwald, 11 Jul 2022
    • CC1: 'Reply on RC3', Xiaopeng Fan, 17 Jul 2022
    • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Pavel G. Talalay, 23 Sep 2022
  • RC4: 'Comment on tc-2022-100', Paul Anker, 01 Aug 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC4', Pavel G. Talalay, 03 Aug 2022

Youhong Sun et al.

Youhong Sun et al.


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Short summary
The discovery of polar subglacial lakes, rivers, and streams has opened a new frontier of science within a short span. We present 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.