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Location for direct access to subglacial Lake Ellsworth: An assessment of geophysical data and modeling


Woodward, J and Smith, AM and Ross, N and Thoma, M and Corr, HFJ and King, EC and King, MA and Grosfeld, K and Tranter, M and Siegert, MJ, Location for direct access to subglacial Lake Ellsworth: An assessment of geophysical data and modeling, Geophysical Research Letters, 37, (11) ISSN 0094-8276 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1029/2010GL042884


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 km 2. Lake depth increases downlake from 52 m to 156 m, with a water body volume of 1.37 km 3. 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. Copyright © 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Basal ice; Climate record; Critical pressures; Direct access; Direct measurement; Dissolved gas; Drill sites; Geophysical data; Geophysical surveys; Ice thickness; Lake depth; Microbial life; Numerical modeling; Subglacial lakes; Water circulation
Research Division:Earth Sciences
Research Group:Physical geography and environmental geoscience
Research Field:Physical geography and environmental geoscience not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the earth sciences
UTAS Author:King, MA (Professor Matt King)
ID Code:82153
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:37
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2013-01-16
Last Modified:2013-01-16

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