1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA
2Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, USA
3Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
4Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV, USA
5US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH, USA
6Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA
7Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL, USA
Received: 12 Jun 2014 – Discussion started: 23 Jul 2014
Abstract. Lake Vida, located in Victoria Valley, is one of the largest lakes in the McMurdo dry valleys and is known to contain hypersaline liquid brine sealed below 16 m of freshwater ice. For the first time, Lake Vida was drilled to a depth of 27 m. Below 21 m the ice is marked by well-sorted sand layers up to 20 cm thick within a matrix of salty ice. From ice chemistry, isotopic composition of δ18O and δ2H, and ground penetrating radar profiles, we conclude that the entire 27 m of ice formed from surface runoff and the sediment layers represent the accumulation of surface deposits. Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating limit the maximum age of the lower ice to 6300 14C yr BP. As the ice cover ablated downwards during periods of low surface inflow, progressive accumulation of sediment layers insulated and preserved the ice and brine beneath, analogous to the processes that preserve shallow ground ice. The repetition of these sediment layers reveals hydrologic variability in Victoria Valley during the mid- to late Holocene. Lake Vida is an exemplar site for understanding the preservation of subsurface brine, ice, and sediment in a cold desert environment.
Revised: 02 Feb 2015 – Accepted: 10 Feb 2015 – Published: 04 Mar 2015
Dugan, H. A., Doran, P. T., Wagner, B., Kenig, F., Fritsen, C. H., Arcone, S. A., Kuhn, E., Ostrom, N. E., Warnock, J. P., and Murray, A. E.: Stratigraphy of Lake Vida, Antarctica: hydrologic implications of 27 m of ice, The Cryosphere, 9, 439-450, doi:10.5194/tc-9-439-2015, 2015.