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Tides in the subglacial Lake Vostok, East Antarctica

Anja Poetzsch(1) and A Senatorov(2)

(1) TU Dresden, Mommsenstr. 13, 01062 Dresden, Germany
(2) Aerogeodezia, 6 Bukharestskaya str, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation


Subglacial lakes belong to the most interesting glaciological features in Antarctica, where the 280-km-long Lake Vostok is the most prominent one. For the understanding of the dynamics of the Lake Vostok system different components such as ice thickness and ice motion, lake bathymetry, geothermal heat flow, water circulation and melting-refreezing have to be investigated and modelled in a complex way. The new aspect we focus on is the contribution of a tidal mixing to the water circulation processes. We discuss the magnitude of the expected vertical tidal signal based on the differential tidal potential on the area of the lake and the influence of the 4000 m thick ice cover. Observational evidence of tides in the lake comes from GPS observations which were conducted in the summer seasons 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 and from SAR interferometry. In several ERS tandem interferograms we find a deformation signal which can only be the result of a vertical displacement. Furthermore, we discuss how the investigations can be continued with Envisat data.


Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry