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An extensive subglacial lake and canyon system in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica


Jamieson, SSR and Ross, N and Greenbaum, JS and Young, DA and Aitken, ARA and Roberts, JL and Blankenship, DD and Bo, S and Siegert, MJ, An extensive subglacial lake and canyon system in Princess Elizabeth Land, East Antarctica, Geology, 44, (2) pp. 87-90. ISSN 0091-7613 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States (CC BY 3.0 US)

DOI: doi:10.1130/G37220.1


The subglacial landscape of Princess Elizabeth Land (PEL) in East Antarctica is poorly known due to a paucity of ice thickness measurements. This is problematic given its importance for understanding ice sheet dynamics and landscape and climate evolution. To address this issue, we describe the topography beneath the ice sheet by assuming that ice surface expressions in satellite imagery relate to large-scale subglacial features. We find evidence that a large, previously undiscovered subglacial drainage network is hidden beneath the ice sheet in PEL. We interpret a discrete feature that is 140 20 km in plan form, and multiple narrow sinuous features that extend over a distance of ∼1100 km. We hypothesize that these are tectonically controlled and relate to a large subglacial basin containing a deep-water lake in the interior of PEL linked to a series of long, deep canyons. The presence of 1-km-deep canyons is confirmed at a few localities by radio-echo sounding data, and drainage analysis suggests that these canyons will direct subglacial meltwater to the coast between the Vestfold Hills and the West Ice Shelf.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Antarctica, subglacial hydrology
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Glaciology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:Roberts, JL (Dr Jason Roberts)
ID Code:110222
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:24
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2016-07-20
Last Modified:2017-10-30
Downloads:170 View Download Statistics

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