Seismic detection of a subglacial lake near the South Pole, Antarctica

L. E. Peters, S. Anandakrishnan, C. W. Holland, H. J. Horgan, D. D. Blankenship, D. E. Voigt

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Seismic reflection data are analyzed to verify radar identification of a subglaical lake near the geographic South Pole. The seismic amplitude variation with offset (AVO) technique is applied to confirm the presence of extensive free water, and seismic imaging of the subsurface constrains lake depth and deeper subglacial structure in the region. This lake is at least 4.2 km wide (and likely as much as 10 km in diameter), is up to 32 ± 10 m deep, and occupies a basin of thick sedimentary strata. These results imply that extensive water storage is occurring in the South Pole region. The proximity of this lake to the Amundsen - Scott South Pole Station makes research drilling to sample the lake and underlying sediments feasible and supportable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL23501
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 16 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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