The late Quaternary glacial history of the Amery Oasis, and Prince Charles Mountains is of significant interest because about 10% of the total modern Antarctic ice outflow is discharged via the adjacent Lambert Glacier system. A glacial thrust moraine sequence deposited along the northern shoreline of Radok Lake between 20-10 ka bp, overlies a layer of thin, aragonite crusts which provide important constraints on the glacial history of the Amery Oasis. The modern Radok Lake is fed by the terminal meltwaters of the alpine Battye Glacier. The aragonite crusts were deposited in shallow water of ancestral Radok Lake 53 ka bp, during the A3 warm event in Isotope Stage 3. Oxygen isotope (δ18O) analysis of the last glacial-age aragonite crusts indicates that they precipitated from freshwater with a δ 18OSMOW composition of -36%, which is 8% more depleted than the present water (-28%) in Radok Lake. A regional oxygen isotope (δ18O) and elevation relationship for snow is used to determine the source of meltwater and glacial ice in Radok Lake during the A3 warm event. This relationship indicates that Radok Lake received meltwater from the confluence of both Battye Glacier ice and an expansion of grounded western Lambert Glacier ice in the Amery embayment.
Bibliographical noteCopyright 2007 Cambridge University Press. Article originally published in Antartic Science, Volume 19 Issue 3, pp. 365-367. The original article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0954102007000466.
- Glacial meltwater
- Lambert Glacier grounding
- Oxygen isotope