Antarctic subglacial lake ellsworth

John Woodward, Martin J. Siegert, Andy M. Smith, George Royston-Bishop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Subglacial Lake Ellsworth is located near the Ellsworth Mountains in West Antarctica at 78.9°S 90.6°W. The lake basin is in the center of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) in the Pine Island Glacier drainage basin, 20 km from the ice divide with the Institute Ice Stream. The lake is believed to be approximately 10 km long and over 3 km across at its widest point. The gradient of the bed surrounding Lake Ellsworth is at least twice as great as the lake surface, which implies that the depth of the lake could be of the order of tens if not hundreds of meters (Siegert et al., 2004). The ice overlying the lake is between 3.2 and 3.4 km thick, suggesting that the lake surface is over 1 km beneath present sea level. Lake Ellsworth is located within a distinct topographic hollow, which is ∼1.5 km deeper than the surrounding bed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Lakes and Reservoirs
EditorsLars Bengtsson, Reginald W. Herschy, Rhodes W. Fairbridge
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781402044106
ISBN (Print)9781402056161
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameEncyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
ISSN (Print)1388-4360
ISSN (Electronic)1871-756X


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