Journal cover Journal topic
The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
The Cryosphere, 9, 439-450, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-439-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
04 Mar 2015
Stratigraphy of Lake Vida, Antarctica: hydrologic implications of 27 m of ice
H. A. Dugan1,2, P. T. Doran1, B. Wagner3, F. Kenig1, C. H. Fritsen4, S. A. Arcone5, E. Kuhn4, N. E. Ostrom6, J. P. Warnock7, and A. E. Murray4 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
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.

Citation: 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, https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-9-439-2015, 2015.
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Lake Vida is one of the largest lakes in the McMurdo dry valleys, Antarctica, and has the thickest known ice cover of any lake on Earth. For the first time, Lake Vida was drilled to a depth of 27m. With depth the ice cover changes from freshwater ice to salty ice interspersed with thick sediment layers. It is hypothesized that the repetition of sediment layers in the ice will reveal climatic and hydrologic variability in the region over the last 1000--3000 years.
Lake Vida is one of the largest lakes in the McMurdo dry valleys, Antarctica, and has the...
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