We developed a novel tool for sediment microfabric studies and used it to examine the Weichselian subglacial
till of western Latvia.
We chose to focus on the Aurora Subglacial
Basin because it may represent the weak underbelly of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, the largest remaining body of ice and potential source of sea-level rise on Earth," said Donald Blankenship, principal investigator for the ICECAP project, a multinational collaboration using airborne geophysical instruments to study the ice sheet.
erosion and englacial sediment transport modelled for North American ice sheets.
That water quickly accumulated at the base of the underlying ice sheet, forming a subglacial
lake that drained away during the following 24 hours.
environment) (Raukas & Stankowski 2005) or with the deposits of an ice lake at the end of the late Pleistocene, when the ice margin had reached either the Gulf of Finland or already South Finland (Miidel 2003).
The high activity level indicates that the source is riverine or lacustrine, as we would expect, given the glociofluvial sediment supply emanating from the Sodalan Gletscher (as opposed to subglacial
sediments or sediment near the ice margin).
For years we have speculated that new forms of microbial life could have evolved in the unique habitats of Antarctica's subglacial
lakes," said microbiologist David Pearce in a statement from the British Arctic Survey, who is leading the search for creatures in the lake.
That's important, because understanding the subglacial
plumbing helps scientists determine what will happen to the Antarctic ice sheet as global warming intensifies.
Scientists can also more easily discern the rise and fall of the surfaces of ice sheets due to the flow of water into and out of subglacial
lakes (SN: 3/3/07, p.
1990:39-40), about elderly men who made subglacial
journeys, prepared to sacrifice their lives to benefit their descendants.
Unlike previous lake maps, which are confined to small regions, Joughin and colleagues mapped 124 subglacial
lakes across Antarctica using lasers on NASA's ICESat satellite.
Ocean tides produce daily and weekly variations in flow speed at some locations, while the draining and filling of subglacial
lakes and the climate cycles, such as ice ages, appear to cause variations over decades, centuries, or millennia.