Testing a new high-frequency radar system over the glacier. (Photo: Ben)
Heavy metal bars block the opening to the ice when the laboratory is not in use. Mathieu Tachon and Pierre-Marie Lefeuvre put back the bars when leaving the lab in March.
Alexandra Messerli and Pierre-Marie Lefeuvre use an umbrella to help keep the time-laps camera dry. (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
A time-lapse camera is set up to film the closure of the ice tunnel. (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Inside the ice cave, removing packers that were used in pump tests. (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Sub-glacial ice (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Interface between the clear glacier ice and the sediment-rich layer below (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Clear basal ice (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
The arrows show the location of the Svartisen subglacial laboratory. (Photo: Hallgeir Elvehøy / NVE)
The entrance to the laboratory under the glacier (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Under a temperate glacier, the ice at the bed is at pressure-melting point, which is why the researchers wear good raingear.
The boreholes that are being cleared out will be used to pump water up to the glacier bed and then see what effect this has on the glacier. (Photo: Miriam Jackson)
Mathieu Tachon clears a borehole up to the ice-rock interface that will be used in the experiments. Behind him is clear glacier ice, and to the left the more sediment-rich ice. (Photo: Miriam Jackson)

Wet research two hundred metres below a glacier

A group of scientists is currently working in what is called the world's most claustrophobic laboratory. They are studying glaciers, while blogging for ScienceNordic.

Denne artikkelen er over ti år gammel og kan inneholde utdatert informasjon.

In a tunnel system in the Norwegian mountain scientists have direct access to the bed of the glacier, under 200 metres of glacier ice.

An international group of scientists are now working in the sub-glacial laboratory, and they are blogging for ScienceNordic directly from under the ice.

Read their sub-glacial blog here

"The glacier laboratory provides a unique opportunity to do glacier research while actually inside the glacier," said Miriam Jackson at the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) in an article on ScienceNordic in February.

The sub-glacial research gives scientists new information about how glaciers move and fills in the gaps in the knowledge about the impact of climate change on large ice sheets such as Greenland and Antarctica, according to Jackson.

But working in the laboratory is not without risks.

"It can feel rather strange to know that while you are working deep in the ice tunnel the weight of the glacier above is gradually shrinking the tunnel. If you are not careful and keep one eye on the time, then you can end up being trapped in the ice", said Jackson.

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