Geometry and dynamics of subglacial lakes in East Antarctica


Professor Dr.-Ing. Reinhard Dietrich 
Technische Universität Dresden 
Institut für Planetare Geodäsie 
Professur für Geodätische Erdsystemforschung


Dr. Sergey V. Popov


The proposed bilateral cooperation project between TU Dresden and PMGE aims at a complex, interdisciplinary investigation of subglacial lakes in East Antarctica. The study of subglacial water cavities and water discharges constitutes one of the major targets of current international research in Antarctica. Many phenomena related to the existence of subglacial water cavities are still poorly understood. Basal water layers and their interaction with the overlaying ice, however, have important implications for the dynamics, mass balance and stability of the Antarctic ice sheet. Based on the experience gathered by both partners jointly in the investigation of the world's largest known subglacial Lake Vostok, a number of smaller subglacial water cavities discovered in the sector Mirny - Vostok - Progress shall be studied using both in-situ observations and satellite data. Combining geophysical and geodetic measurements, the grounding line of subglacial water cavities will be detected and surface heights and their changes, the horizontal flow velocity field, and the thickness of the covering ice sheet will be determined. From that, the morphometry of the subglacial water cavities, their water budget, water exchange processes, the interactions between water and ice sheet, ice flow dynamics, mass balance estimates and the geomorphologic environment of the subglacial lakes are deduced and interpreted. At this, the anticipated quality and complexity of the results can be achieved only by combining the experience, the complementary techniques, methods and data of both partners.


DFG-Verfahren: Infrastruktur-Schwerpunktprogramme

Internationaler Bezug: Antarktis, Russische Föderation

Förderung von 2008 bis 2011