Scientists drill deepest hole ever in Antarctica

Scientists have been planning the project, called BEAMISH (Bed Access, Monitoring and Ice Sheet History), for the past 20 years. On Jan. 8, after 63 hours of continuous drilling using a hot-water drill (a large tool that melts the ice), they broke through the base of the Rutford Ice Stream in West Antarctica.


The team reached a depth of 7,060 feet (2,152 meters) and threaded instruments through the hole to record water pressure and ice temperature, and to measure how much the ice has deformed.
By drilling down deep, the team hopes to find out how long ago the Antarctic ice sheet last disappeared and how water and sediments may be nudging the ice toward the sea, according to the project’s webpage.

The team drilled a second hole on Jan. 22, and the project is expected to continue until mid-February.


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