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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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Lake Joyce, Antarctica

Posted by Anne D Jungblut Dec 4, 2010

Lake Joyce is in the Pearse Valley, a westward extension of the Taylor Valley next to the Taylor Glacier and fed by the meltwater of the glacier. Lake Joyce is one of the smaller Dry Valley lakes. It is perennially ice-covered and the ice is about five meters thick and the ice is not smooth as known from lakes in Europe. The ice is rugged due to irregular freeze-thawing of the top-layer of the ice and deposition of soil from the surrounding hills by the wind.

 

 

Lake Joyce and Taylor Glacier with research tents

 

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Lake ice

 

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Research tents on Lake Joyce ice

 

As the lake is ice-covered samples are collected through diving. The diving is done by three members of our team that are very experienced scientific divers. In order to directly process our samples we had two tents on the ice next to the dive hole.

 

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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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