Remote Sensing" of Lake Vostok with Michael Studinger


     Buried under 4 km (2 1/2 miles) of ice in the heart of the Antarctic continent lies Lake Vostok, one of the world's biggest freshwater lakes. For up to 25 million years the Lake has been covered by an ice sheet and isolated from the atmosphere.  In 1996 European satellite imagery confirmed the lake's existence, sparking scientific inquiry into the Lake and its processes.  Lamont scientists are using ice-penetrating radar data, and GPS measurements to study the melting and refreezing in the lake, and the direction of ice flow of the overlying glacier to understand better the dynamics of the water exchange system. The geologic origin of the lake provide important boundary conditions for the ecosystem. The magnetic and gravity field of the Earth are used to  interpret the geologic structures beneath the ice sheet.

     In today's Introductory presentation, you will find out about the upcoming International Polar Year (IPY) and other projects that investigate Earth's Cryosphere.