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At Lake Vanda we also want to explore microbial communities and the microbial structures forming within the lake. However, before we can get started with the science we had to wait for our equipment to be flown into the camp from Lake Joyce,  and drill and melt a hole in the lake ice big enough for the divers to get into the water.

 

Science equipment is flown in by helicopter

 

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Drilling a hole into the lake ice

 

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Lake Vanda  is in the Wright Valley and a lot bigger than Lake Joyce with a length of around five km. It is also ice-covered but the ice is in average only 4 meters thick. Lake Vanda is meromictic, which means that the deeper layers never mix with the upper layers. This creates very different condition in the shallower and deeper parts of the lake, and therefore very different microbes will likely be found in the different sections of the water column.

 

Lake Ice

In contrast to Lake Joyce the lake ice is very smooth with millions of fine cracks and trapped bubbles, creating amazing patterns and shapes.

 

Lake Vanda

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Lake Vanda ice... just like an abstract painting

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Ice flowers

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Anne D Jungblut

Anne D Jungblut

Member since: Sep 2, 2010

I'm Anne Jungblut from the Botany Department. Join me as I head to Antarctica to study cyanobacterial diversity in ice-covered lakes of the Dry Valleys and Ross Island where already scientists on Scott's and Shakleton's expeditions made many discoveries.

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