The lake ice in Antarctica is very jagged and thick. People who want to dive under the lake ice have to drill 12 feet into the ice to reach the water. Then, they have to wear long underwear and a dry suit. A dry suit feels like rubber. It is sealed at the ankles, wrists, and neck. Divers have to put on a very heavy helmet which they have to wear. They don’t have a regulator because there is air in the helmet. Instead of using a scuba tank, they have cords that go from their helmet to the surface into a compressor to fill and clean air. The divers don’t go that deep. They only go about 30 feet down. The lake is very cold. The temperature is about 30 degrees F. The thing only thing that is living under the ice is algae.
(Hal, under the lake ice. Picture taken by Ms. Ellwood)
Another thing that interests me Hal, a probe that Ms. Ellwood and her team put under the lake ice to collect samples of light and oxygen. The first time they put it down there it didn’t work so a diver went down and fixed it. For a few days in a row they checked it very often to see if it worked. It’s been working fine so they just see how it’s doing every once and a while.