“Remote Sensing of Lake Vostok” with Michael Studinger (Feb 2006)

by | Jul 27, 2023 | Polar Research, Remote Sensing

with Michael Studinger

Originally presented 11 Feb 2006

Buried under 4 km (2 1/2 miles) of ice in the heart of the Antarctic continent lies Lake Vostok, one of the world’s biggest freshwater lakes. For up to 25 million years the Lake has been covered by an ice sheet and isolated from the atmosphere.  In 1996 European satellite imagery confirmed the lake’s existence, sparking scientific inquiry into the Lake and its processes.  Lamont scientists are using ice-penetrating radar data, and GPS measurements to study the melting and refreezing in the lake, and the direction of ice flow of the overlying glacier to understand better the dynamics of the water exchange system. The geologic origin of the lake provide important boundary conditions for the ecosystem. The magnetic and gravity field of the Earth are used to  interpret the geologic structures beneath the ice sheet.

 In today’s Introductory presentation, you will find out about the upcoming International Polar Year (IPY) and other projects that investigate Earth’s Cryosphere.

Introduction to this Workshop

Here is the introductory slide presentation for today’s Workshop

    ppt        pdf

Cutting-Edge Research

Interest in polar regions is growing each year as we observe dramatic changes in such features as ice sheets and permafrost. 2007 marks the start of the International Polar Year (http://www.ipy.org/about/).  Lamont scientists have explored the polar regions for many years. Some of the research can be examined through these links:

Databases and Repositories          Ocean and Climate Physics            Projects and Initiatives

Check the additional links provided in the “Resources” section of these pages.

Classroom Resources

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Earth Observing System (EOS)
For Educators: Educational Links        Educational Publications

NASA’s “A Tour of the Crysophere: The Earth’s Frozen Assets”


Other Resources for This Topic

“A Tour of the Cryosphere: The Earth’s Frozen Assets”
8-minute DVD/web multimedia program about the polar regions, with amazing imagery; close-captions available.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Cryosphere Sciences Branch
The Cryospheric Sciences Branch is a branch of the Hydrospheric and Biospheric Sciences Laboratory located at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.The mission of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch (CSB) is to increase our understanding of the ice cover.

NASA’s ICESat (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite)
ICESat (Ice, Cloud,and land Elevation Satellite) is the benchmark Earth Observing System mission for measuring ice sheet mass balance, cloud and aerosol heights, as well as land topography and vegetation characteristics.

National Snow and Ice Data Center
Established by NOAA as a national information and referral center in support of polar and cryospheric research, NSIDC archives and distributes digital and analog snow and ice data.

“The Crysophere: Where the World Is Frozen”

NOAA Marine Modeling and Analysis Branch (MMAB) Sea Ice
The Polar and Great Lakes Ice group works on sea ice analysis from satellite, sea ice modeling, and ice-atmosphere-ocean coupling.