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Ice formation in an Antarctic glacier-dammed lake and implications for glacier-lake interactions

R. Lorrain1, S. Sleewaegan1, S. Fitzsimons2 and M. Stiévenard3

1 Départment des Sciences de la Terre, Université Libre de Bruxelles, CP 160/03, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
2 Department of Geography, University of Otago, PO BOx 56, Dunedin, New Zealand
3 Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de 'lEnvironnement, Laboratoire mixte CEA-CNRS-CE Saclay, F-991191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

 
Abstract 

Perennially frozen lakes are common features in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of South Victoria Land in Antarctica. Some of them, called wet based, contain liquid water capped by a permanent ice cover between 2.5 and 6 m in thickness. The others, called dry based, are ice-block lakes. The thickness of the latter may far exceed those of the former. Their level is rising form freezing of the surface flooding of summer meltwater. However, we show here for the first time, using isotope analyses together with an ionic and gas content and compisition study, that the ice of one of these day-based lakes ahs been formed by complete freezing form top to bottom of a closed water reservoir and not by successive layers of icings (aufeis piling on top of each other. We also show how this lake, dammed by a cold-based glacier, has contributed to the formation of the basal ice layer of this glacier.

 
Reference

 Lorrain, R., Sleewaegan, S., Fitzsimons, S. and Stiévenard, M. 2002. Ice formation in an Antarctic glacier-dammed lake and implications for glacier-lake interactions. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research, 34 (2), 150-158. [PDF 448]

 

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