Researchers set up sensors to monitor movement of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.
Microbiologist Jill Mikucki from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville inspects Lake Whillans water samples.
Biologist John Priscu celebrates the team’s successful attempt at reaching Lake Whillans through half a mile of ice.
See more stories and multimedia from Lake Whillans in this special report.
Chief driller Dennis Duling, from the University of Nebraska, checks in with his equipment.
Dan Sampson from the University of California in Santa Cruz jumps to test seismic sensors that are buried in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, nearly 650 miles and a world away from the Dry Valleys.
Chad Carpenter, a hot water drill system specialist from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, secures the drill frame.
A 2,626-foot borehole leads to Subglacial Lake Whillans.
Reed Scherer, a geology professor from Northern Illinois University, stands by as drilling work continues.
Another UC Santa Cruz graduate student, Ken Mankoff, tests a geothermal probe at McMurdo Station.
Scientists prepare instruments at the top of the borehole.
A researcher prepares a remotely operated vehicle to send down the borehole.
Graduate student Grace Barcheck, from the University of California in Santa Cruz.
Lake biologist John Priscu, from Montana State University, and Louisiana State University microbiologist Brent Christner prepare to sample lake water.
Geomicrobiologist Andrew Mitchell, now with Aberystwyth University in England, prepares lake-water samples.
Researchers extract mud from the bottom of Lake Whillans.
More mud, which contained the crushed shells of microscopic aquatic organisms.