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Exploration of Antarctic Subglacial Aquatic Environments: Environmental and Scientific Stewardship
FIGURE 2.1 Diagram from Studinger et al. (2003b) illustrating that Lake Vostok has been modeled as a 50-km-wide tectonic basin developed in a continental collision zone between the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains and the Dome C region. SOURCE: Reprinted from Earth andPlanetary Science Letters, 216 (4): Studinger et al. (2003b) with permission from Elsevier.
Other Subglacial Environments
Little is known about the ice-bedrock interface in large regions of Antarctica because of the poor airborne radar survey coverage and the lack of drilling to bedrock. In areas that have been surveyed, there is also the potential complication of surface roughness scattering the radar signal and thus preventing accurate bedrock surface mapping and characterization of the nature of the ice-bedrock interface. Enough is known, however, for the glaciology community to have accepted that in addition to well-defined subglacial lakes, there is a substantial capacity for liquid-water storage in water-saturated subglacial sediments (e.g., Siegert and Bamber 2000).
BASEMENT ROCK CHARACTERISTICS
An understanding of the bedrock geology beneath the ice sheets is important to help determine how and when subglacial aquatic environments formed and whether these