Antarctic Science

Papers—Earth Sciences and Glaciology

Glacial boulders ‘floating’ on the ice cover of Lake Untersee, East Antarctica

Ulrich Wand a1c1 and James Perlt a2
a1 Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit Potsdam, Telegrafenberg A43, D-14473 Potsdam, Germany
a2 Institut für Planetare Geodäsie, Technische Universität Dresden, D-01062 Dresden, Germany

Article author query
wand u   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
perlt j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


Large glacial boulders, up to several metres in diameter, resting on the lake ice are a remarkable feature of Lake Untersee (71°21'S, 13°28'E), an ice-dammed, perennially frozen freshwater lake in the Ottovon-Gruber-Gebirge (Gruber Mountains) of central Queen Maud Land, East Antarctica. A geodetic survey of such ice-rafted boulders was made over two summer seasons to determine the direction and velocity of their movement. They are transported between 3.9 and 11.1 m annually and the residence time of the boulders is estimated at approximately 500 years. Lake Untersee must have been permanently covered with lake ice for at least that long.

(Received July 8 1998)
(Accepted January 22 1999)

Key Words: Antarctica; glacial boulders; glacial geomorphology; lake ice.