Technological aspects of the final phase of drilling borehole 5G and unsealing Vostok Subglacial Lake, East Antarctica release_4p7acgly5nh5ppbsdvdnb7amxu

by Valery V. Lukin, Nikolay I. Vasiliev

Published in Annals of Glaciology by Cambridge University Press (CUP).

Volume 55, Issue 65 p83-89 (2014)

Abstract

<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> This paper considers the state of the deep ice borehole 5G at the Russian Antarctic Vostok station after penetration to the surface water of Vostok Subglacial Lake. It discusses the peculiar features of drilling the 'fresh frozen' lake water that has risen in the borehole and the technology for subsequent study of the lake water layer via borehole 5G filled with a kerosene–Freon<jats:sup>®</jats:sup> mixture. The extremely high rise of lake water via the borehole is attributed to a hydraulic fracture at the side of the borehole, which diverted a large amount of drilling fluid. The proposed technology for the study of the water layer envisages minimal environmental impact and excludes penetration of any of the kerosene–Freon<jats:sup>®</jats:sup> mixture to the water layer. This technology has been presented several times at different international forums. There was no critical comment on the Environmental Impact Assessment of the technology at the 37th Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in 2014 and it was adopted for implementation.
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