Brine micro-droplets and solid inclusions in accreted ice from Lake Vostok (East Antarctica)
Article first published online: 29 JUN 2005
Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 32, Issue 12, June 2005
How to Cite
2005), Brine micro-droplets and solid inclusions in accreted ice from Lake Vostok (East Antarctica), Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, L12501, doi:10.1029/2005GL022460., , , , and (
- Issue published online: 29 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 29 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 25 MAY 2005
- Manuscript Revised: 9 APR 2005
- Manuscript Received: 14 JAN 2005
 Lake Vostok, the largest Antarctic sub-glacial lake (14,000 km2), lies beneath nearly 4 km of ice. Sub-glacial geophysical observations and studies of ice accreting at the lake-glacier interface are the only means available to obtain information on the environment and dynamics of this huge water body formed several million years ago. Accretion ice has been studied using high-resolution synchrotron X-Ray micro-fluorescence. For the first time, liquid brine micro-droplets (3–10 μm) are observed, coexisting with large irregular sulfur-rich aggregates (10–800 μm) containing gases and a mixture of very fine particles. Most of these objects are sequestered inside large crystals that grew slowly after ice formation. Their structure and composition support the existence of hydrothermal activity at the lake bottom and the occurrence of haline water pulses carrying fine solid debris and eventually biota from a deeper evaporitic reservoir into the lake.