Scientists want to explore the mysterious marine ecosystem that is hidden under Antarctica for 120 000 years

Photo: AmericaRU.com

When the A68 iceberg separated from the ice shelf Larsen C in July 2017, he exposed the area of seabed the size of 6000 square kilometers, which was never available for recording. Now a group of scientists is sent to Antarctica to explore the region which has been covered with ice for thousands of years.

This provides researchers with a unique opportunity to examine an ecosystem that has been hidden for over 120 000 years. “We don’t know anything about it, the region was covered with an ice shelf with a thickness of several hundred meters,” said Dr. Katherine Lins (Katrin Linse), marine biologist of the British Antarctic service (BAS), who heads the mission.

“It is important that we quickly got to the place before the underwater environment will change when the sunlight gets into the water, and new types will capture this ancient island at the bottom. There can be a host species, which we do not know, they could adapt to life with a small amount of oxygen,” says Lins.

The team will leave their base in the Falkland Islands in late February to spend three weeks aboard a research vessel RRS James Clark Ross.

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