Title Location for direct access to subglacial Lake Ellsworth; an assessment of geophysical data and modeling
Author Woodward, J.; Smith, A.M.; Ross, N.; Thoma, M.; Corr, H.F.J.; King, E.C.; King, M.A.; Grosfeld, K.; Tranter, M.; Siegert, M.J.
Author Affil Woodward, J., Northumbria University, School of Applied Science, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom. Other: British Antarctic Survey, United Kingdom; University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Bavarian Academy of Sciences, Germany; Newcastle University, United Kingdom; Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany; University of Bristol, United Kingdom
Source Geophysical Research Letters, 37(11), Citation L11501. Publisher: American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, United States. ISSN: 0094-8276
Publication Date 2010
Notes In English. 12 refs. GeoRef Acc. No: 309539. CRREL Acc. No: 65006568
Index Terms climate; echo sounding; profiles; geophysical surveys; glacial geology; ice sheets; lacustrine deposits; lake deposits; lakes; sediments; seismic reflection; seismic surveys; simulation; surveys; thermodynamic properties; thickness; topography; Antarctica- -West Antarctica; Antarctica; bathymetry; geophysical methods; geophysical profiles; lacustrine environment; Lake Ellsworth; lake sediments; reflection methods; seismic methods; seismic profiles; subglacial lakes; West Antarctica
Abstract Subglacial Lake Ellsworth has been proposed as a candidate for direct measurement and sampling, to identify microbial life and extract sedimentary climate records. We present a detailed characterization of the physiography of this subglacial lake from geophysical surveys, allowing bathymetry and geomorphic setting to be established. Lake Ellsworth is 14.7 km 3.1 km with an area of 28.9 km2. Lake depth increases downlake from 52 m to 156 m, with a water body volume of 1.37 km3. The ice thickness suggests an unusual thermodynamic characteristic, with the critical pressure boundary intersecting the lake. Numerical modeling of water circulation has allowed accretion of basal ice to be estimated. We collate this physiographic and modeling information to confirm that Lake Ellsworth is ideal for direct access and propose an optimal drill site. The likelihood of dissolved gas exchange between the lake and the borehole is also assessed.
URL http://hdl.handle.net/10.1029/2010GL042884
Publication Type journal article
Record ID 91446