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ABSTRACT

The sedimentation mechanisms that occur in ice-covered Lake Hoare, Antarctica are examined, to determine how sediment enters the lake, and how the sedimentation pattern affects blue-green algal growth at the lake bottom. The 3 m-thick ice cover contains pebbly sand as much as 2 m below the surface. Sediment with similar texture and mineralogy is found at the lake bottom. This evidence, together with the lack of sediment in the inflowing stream and the markedly different texture of sediment from the other terrains around the lake suggest that most of the sediment at the lake bottom comes in through the ice cover. Sand grains intermittently migrate through porous ice on the surface, water-filled vertical gas-channels penetrating two-thirds of the ice cover, and possibly through cracks in the ice that act as conduits. The algae at the lake bottom are able to survive in part because sediment that comes through the ice cover does not obliterate them.