Antarctic subglacial water: Origin, evolution and ecology


Recent discoveries in the polar regions have revealed that subglacial environments provide a habitat for life in a setting that was previously thought to be inhospitable. These habitats consist of large lakes, intermittently flowing rivers, wetlands, and subglacial aquifers. This chapter presents an overview of the geophysical, chemical, and biological properties of selected subglacial environments. The focus is on the large subglacial systems lying beneath Antarctic ice sheets where most of the subglacial water on our planet is thought to exist. Specifically, this chapter addresses the following topics: (1) the distribution, origin, and hydrology of Antarctic subglacial lakes; (2) Antarctic ice streams as regions of dynamic liquid-water movement that influence ice-sheet dynamics; and (3) subglacial environments as habitats for life and reservoirs of organic carbon.




Priscu JC, Tulaczyk S, Studinger M, Kennicutt II MC, Christner BC, Foreman C, "Antarctic subglacial water: Origin, evolution and ecology," In Polar Lakes and Rivers, W. Vincent and J. Laybourn-Parry (eds.), Oxford Press 2008 pp 119-136
Copyright (c) 2002-2022, LYRASIS. All rights reserved.