Low Deuterium Content of Lake Vanda, Antarctica

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Science  28 May 1965:
Vol. 148, Issue 3674, pp. 1226-1227
DOI: 10.1126/science.148.3674.1226


Lake Vanda in Victoria Land, Antarctica, is permanently ice-covered and permanently stratified, with warm, salty water near the bottom. Deuterium analyses of lake water from several levels indicate that the lake has a low deuterium content, and that it is stratified with respect to this isotope. This low deuterium content supports the evidence from the lake's ionic content that the saline layer is not of marine origin, and it indicates that evaporation from the ice surface has taken place. The stratification of the lake with respect to deuterium suggests that the upper and lower layers of water were formed at different times from different sources of glacial melt water.