Russian physicists have begun to study Antarctic ice for the content of helium

An installation for the selection of helium from Antarctic ice was created at the St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics. Scientists hope to extract helium from an ice core extracted from a well over 3, 7 km deep, drilled to the surface of Lake Vostok.

According to the head of the expedition Valery Lukin, two samples have already been extracted from the well from depths of 3, 724 and 3, 728 km. The percentage of helium in the ice core will make it possible to determine when the ice formed and how old the frozen water is, for which the radioisotope method will be used.

Well location to Lake Vostok

Only the first and most technically difficult stage of the study has been completed - the extraction of ice samples for helium. The next stage will be carried out thousands of kilometers from the well - in the quiet of the laboratories of the St. A.F. Yoffe.

Antarctic Lake Vostok is truly unique. It is located under a layer of ice more than 3700 meters thick. It occupies 15th place among the earth's lakes and in terms of its size (50 x 250 km) is commensurate, for example, with the Chechen Republic and Montenegro. The depth of Lake Vostok is over 1200 meters. By volume of water - more than 6340 cubic meters. km - it is the seventh in the world.

Russian polar explorers manage to overcome up to 2 meters a day. According to their calculations, it remains to walk a little over 30 meters. The surface of the lake is expected to be reached by the end of January.