Inside the Glaciers

Following on from our recent short films about DNA sequencing on the Greenland Ice Sheet with our affiliate Dr Arwyn Edwards, we are excited to share the next stage in our collaboration - sequencing INSIDE the ice sheet!

In October the team will access the heart of the ice sheet by abseiling into giant melt holes known as 'moulins' (from the french for 'windmill' in reference to the way water spirals down them). In a pilot study in 2017, the team (led by adventurer Francesco Sauro and Ice Alive founder Joseph Cook) descended over 150 metres to retrieve samples of ancient biological material locked away inside the ice.

 Sauro and Cook descending one of the moulins during the 2017 pilot study (Ph. Moncler / Alessio Romeo)

Sauro and Cook descending one of the moulins during the 2017 pilot study (Ph. Moncler / Alessio Romeo)

This year the team will return with a new set of objectives including on-site genetic sequencing inside the moulin and geophysical surveys that reveal the size and extent of the moulins - important for understanding the route traveled by melt-water on its way to the sea. We will post updates about the team's progress here!

 The "Inside the Glaciers" camp during the pilot study in September 2017 (ph. Moncler / Alessio Romeo)

The "Inside the Glaciers" camp during the pilot study in September 2017 (ph. Moncler / Alessio Romeo)