Scientific access into Mercer Subglacial Lake: scientific objectives, drilling operations and initial observations

Title Scientific access into Mercer Subglacial Lake: scientific objectives, drilling operations and initial observations
Publication Type
Journal Article
Year
2021
Author(s) John C Priscu , Jonas Kalin, John Winans, Timothy Campbell, Matthew R Siegfried, Mark L Skidmore, John E Dore, Amy Leventer, David Harwood, Dennis V Duling, Robert Zook, Justin Burnett, Dar E Gibson, Edward Krula, Anatoly Mironov, Jim McManis, Graham Roberts, Brad E Rosenheim, Brent C Christner, Kathy Kasic, Helen A Fricker, Berry Lyons, Joel Barker, Mark Bowling, Billy Collins, Christina Davis, Al Gagnon, Christopher Gardner, Chloe Gustafson, Ok-Sun Kim, Wei Li, Alexander B Michaud, Molly O Patterson, Martyn Tranter, Ryan Venturelli, Trista J Vick-Majors, Cooper Elsworth, The SALSA Science Team
Journal/ Publication
Annals of Glaciology
Pagination
1-13
Abstract

The Subglacial Antarctic Lakes Scientific Access (SALSA) Project accessed Mercer Subglacial Lake using environmentally clean hot-water drilling to examine interactions among ice, water, sediment, rock, microbes and carbon reservoirs within the lake water column and underlying sediments. A ~0.4 m diameter borehole was melted through 1087 m of ice and maintained over ~10 days, allowing observation of ice properties and collection of water and sediment with various tools. Over this period, SALSA collected: 60 L of lake water and 10 L of deep borehole water; microbes >0.2 μm in diameter from in situ filtration of ~100 L of lake water; 10 multicores 0.32–0.49 m long; 1.0 and 1.76 m long gravity cores; three conductivity–temperature–depth profiles of borehole and lake water; five discrete depth current meter measurements in the lake and images of ice, the lake water–ice interface and lake sediments. Temperature and conductivity data showed the hydrodynamic character of water mixing between the borehole and lake after entry. Models simulating melting of the ~6 m thick basal accreted ice layer imply that debris fall-out through the ~15 m water column to the lake sediments from borehole melting had little effect on the stratigraphy of surficial sediment cores.

DOI
10.1017/aog.2021.10
File
URL
Categories Hot Water Drilling, Subglacial Access
Equipment SALSA Hot Water Drill, WISSARD Hot Water Drill
Citation John C Priscu , Jonas Kalin, John Winans, Timothy Campbell, Matthew R Siegfried, Mark L Skidmore, John E Dore, Amy Leventer, David Harwood, Dennis V Duling, Robert Zook, Justin Burnett, Dar E Gibson, Edward Krula, Anatoly Mironov, Jim McManis, Graham Roberts, Brad E Rosenheim, Brent C Christner, Kathy Kasic, Helen A Fricker, Berry Lyons, Joel Barker, Mark Bowling, Billy Collins, Christina Davis, Al Gagnon, Christopher Gardner, Chloe Gustafson, Ok-Sun Kim, Wei Li, Alexander B Michaud, Molly O Patterson, Martyn Tranter, Ryan Venturelli, Trista J Vick-Majors, Cooper Elsworth, The SALSA Science Team ( 2021 ) Scientific access into Mercer Subglacial Lake: scientific objectives, drilling operations and initial observations. Annals of Glaciology , 1-13 . doi: 10.1017/aog.2021.10
Lead Author
John C Priscu