Subglacial Antarctic lake environments (SALE) have attracted great scientific and lay public interest during the last decade. “Subglacial” is broadly defined as those localities under substantial (kilometer-scale) ice overburdens that cause long-term (at least thousands of years) isolation from direct subaerial contact. Subglacial environments are at or below the ice-bed interface of glaciers and ice sheets, including ice-water contacts above subglacial lakes and below ice shelves.
For the next decade or more, SALE exploration and research will be a focus of intense interest in Antarctica as one of the last remaining unexplored and difficult to access environments on Earth. SALE is also a primary focus for the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007—2008 scientific theme, “exploring new frontiers.”