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Geophysical Monograph Series




Geology of Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica

Robert L. Nichols

Department of Geology, Tufts University, Medford, Mass.

Lake Vanda is a perennially frozen lake which occupies an undrained bedrock basin in the Wright Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica. Elevated beaches, deltas, and lacustrine cliffs prove that it was once approximately 185 feet higher. The size and excellent development of these features prove that they were formed when Lake Vanda was essentially open for at least a part of the year. It is unlikely that the climate was warm enough when these elevated features were being formed to have kept the lake essentially open at any season of the year. The recent discovery of lake temperatures higher than 70°F in Lake Vanda and the presence of small cinder cones in the Wright Valley indicate that the open water necessary for the formation of the elevated beaches, deltas, and cliffs resulted from volcanic heating of the lake.

Citation: Nichols, R. L. (1962), Geology of Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica, in Antarctic Research: The Matthew Fontaine Maury Memorial Symposium, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 7, edited by H. Wexler, M. J. Rubin, and J. E. Caskey Jr., pp. 47–52, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/GM007p0047.


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