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Exploring cyanobacterial diversity in Antarctica Blog

6 Posts tagged with the lake_joyce tag
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Although I have been writing already for several weeks about different regions and lakes in Antarctica, I have never posted a map.

 


 

                                                                                                         Antarctica

 

Map of Antarctica showing the location of Ross Island with US (McMurdo ) and the NZ Antarctic (Scott Base) stations, and the Dr Valley located in Victoria Land, continental Antarctica.

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                                                                                     Dry Valleys (Southern Victoria Land)

 

Map of the Dry Valleys (McMurdo Dry Valleys ASMA Manual) , showing Pearse Valley with Lake Joyce, Wright Valley with Lake Vanda and Taylor Valley with Lake Hoare, which will be the last lake that we are planning to visit. The Dry Valleys are on continental Antarctica.

 

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After one week at Lake Joyce it was time to pack and move our entire camp to Lake Vanda. Although i only stayed one week at Lake Joyce the rest of the team had spend close to a month there. It took two days to pack and four days to move all of the team and the equipment to Lake Vanda. This was also partly due to strong winds, which stopped the helicopter traffic.

 

Packing  Lake Joyce  camp

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Lake Vanda is also an ice-covered lake of the Dry Valleys and located in the Wright Valley. In order to get there we flow over the Asgard Range with amazing views over glaciers and mountain peaks.

 

Asgard Range

 

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Lake Vanda, Wright Valley

 

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Lake Joyce camp

Posted by Anne D Jungblut Dec 9, 2010

Our camp at Lake Joyce is only a few minutes walk from the lake. It is a fairly big camp with a large kitchen tent and a tech-tent, where we stored all our fragile electronic equipment.  The kitchen tent was  heated which makes it very cosy to hang out in the evening. We usually took turns with the cooking.  Even though we only have a small kitchen , we had everything ranging from Thai and Indian Curries to Burgers and Pasta for dinner.

 

Lake Joyce camp

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Kitchen tent

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The objectives of our project are to study the cyanobacterial mats and microbial structures in Lake Joyce to better understand the diversity and processes that create these microbial structures.

 

In order to study the structures the samples need to be collected by  diving. Once they are brought back to our field lab directly on the ice of Lake Joyce, they are documented, the diversity studied using microscopy and samples preserved for further analysis back at our home institutions. I am particularly interested in collecting material for DNA-based tools to study cyanobacterial diversity.

 

 

Diving in Lake Joyce

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Microscopy analysis of cyanobacteria from Lake Joyce

 

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Filtration of water samples

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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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Much of the travel around Ross Island and the Dry Valleys is done by helicopter because this is often the only way to reach many of the remote research locations.  Therefore, it was also the means of transportation for me to get to my first field site Lake Joyce in Pearce Valley (Dry Valleys, Antarctica).

 

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I was scheduled to fly early in the morning and my cargo did not only contain my science equipment but also the much awaited  food resupplies for our camp including frozen eggs, olive oil, muesli and plenty of salsa sauce etc.

 

 

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The flight took me along Ross Island and many incredibly beautiful mountain ranges and glaciers. 

 

Ross Island with Mt Erebus

 

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Dry Valleys

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Arrival at Lake Joyce

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Lake Joyce

 

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