Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesThe Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Co-Director,Grantham Institute forClimate Change&Environment



+44 (0)20 7594 9666m.siegert Website




Ms Gosia Gayer +44 (0)20 7594 9666




Grantham Directors OfficeSherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Siegert, MJ},
doi = {10.1144/SP461.5},
journal = {Special Publications (Geological Society London)},
title = {A 60-year international history of Antarctic subglacial lake exploration},
url = {},
volume = {Special Publications},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - In January 2013, theUS WISSARD programmemeasured and sampled Lake Whillans, a subglacial water body at the edge of West Antarctica, in a clean and environmentally sensitive manner, proving the existence of microbial life beneath this part of the ice sheet. The success of WISSARD represented benchmark in the exploration of Antarctica, made possible by a rich and diverse history of events, discoveries and discussions over the past 60 years; ranging from geophysical measurement of subglacial lakes, to the development of scientific hypotheses concerning these environments and the engineering solutions required to testthem. In this article, I provide a personal account of this history, fromthe published literature andmy own involvement in subglacial lake exploration over the last 20 years. I show that our ability to directly measure and sample subglacial water bodies in Antarctica has been made possible by a strong theme of international collaboration, at odds with the media representation of a scientific ‘race’ between nations. I also consider plans for subglacial lake explorationand discuss how such collaboration is likely to be key to success of future research in this field.
AU - Siegert,MJ
DO - 10.1144/SP461.5
PY - 2017///
SN - 0305-8719
TI - A 60-year international history of Antarctic subglacial lake exploration
T2 - Special Publications (Geological Society London)
UR -
UR -
VL - Special Publications
ER -