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Final word from Programme Manager

This is clearly a very disappointing time for the team who are now busy draining down the systems and preparing all the cargo for uplift – not an insignificant task. However, whilst the field season did not turn out the way we had planned, there are a number of valuable lessons we can learn from this experience which will contribute to the collective, global knowledge in hot water drilling.

The consortium will now regroup and take stock of the situation. There are lessons to be learned and there is equipment to be serviced. The fundamental science questions raised by the programme remain viable, interesting and unanswered and the consortium will be preparing plans to revisit the exploration of subglacial Lake Ellsworth at some point in the future.

So keep watching. This is not over yet!

Finally, we would like to acknowledge everyone for the tremendous support and encouragement we have received. I know you will be as disappointed as we are about this outcome, but the enthusiasm with which you have followed our progress has been extremely uplifting for us. On behalf of the field team and the wider consortium I would like to say “thank you”. We wish you all the very best for a happy and successful 2013.

Chris Hill
Subglacial Lake Ellsworth Programme Manager

8 Responses to “Final word from Programme Manager”

  1. Issy Says:

    Wishing you a safe and speedy uplift. Thinking of you all. With love and best wishes, Issy xx

  2. David A. Storey Says:

    Hard luck guys. Keep on trucking. Best wishes. DAS

  3. Mark Twickler Says:

    Dear Team,
    Wishing you success in your future endeavors. This is only a setback. We at WAIS did not meet our goal last year for our replicate coring but went back to the drawing board and were successful this year. I expect the same will happen with your team.
    Best for the new year,

  4. Steve Says:

    Happy New Year to you all. Remember ‘we do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard’. Your project has been an inspiration and I look forward to the next chapter.

  5. Mike Lawson-Smith Says:

    Dear Chris and team

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on the continuing efforts of the Lake Ellsworth exploration! The Ellsworth Live blog has been and continues to be an invaluable source of information to follow both the ups and downs of this exciting and fundamental scientific and technological venture! I do hope you will continue updating us on future developments and activities both out in Antarctica and back home in the UK. I for one will definitely be following EL for the coming years!

    All the very best for the ‘take down’ and journey home, and despite your disappointments, well done all of you!

  6. JS Says:

    I don’t wish to be critical but hot water drilling to significant depths has been routinely performed by other Antarctic Programs. It appears that the technology of hot water drilling and of transporting the probe down the borehole has not been properly addressed before the expensive field work was started

  7. Rob Latimer Says:

    No consolation at the moment but sometime we learn more from our failures than from our successes. The science is still sound and I am sure you will return. In harsh conditions or cutting edge science you need a bit of luck for success, despite all the planning and preparation, so better luck next time.

  8. Charles Howie Says:

    Dear All.
    Well done. As my Vietnamese colleagues say: ‘don’t give up in the middle of the river’

    Best wishes for your recovery and review, it’s been absolutely fascinating to watch and learn about Antarctic hot water drilling.

    I’m looking out for round 2!