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Ancient ice islands in salt lakes of the Central Andes

Science

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Abstract

Massive blocks of freshwater ice and frozen sediments protrude from shallow, saline lakes in the Andes of southwestern Bolivia and northeastern Chile. These ice islands range up to 1.5 kilometers long, stand up to 7 meters above the water surface, and may extend out tens of meters and more beneath the unfrozen lake sediments. The upper surfaces of the islands are covered with dry white sediments, mostly aragonite or calcite. The ice blocks may have formed by freezing of the fresh pore water of lake sediments during the "little ice age." The largest blocks are melting rapidly because of possibly recent increases in geothermal heat flux through the lake bottom and undercutting by warm saline lake water during the summer.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ancient ice islands in salt lakes of the Central Andes
Series title:
Science
Volume
224
Issue:
4646
Year Published:
1984
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Science
First page:
299
Last page:
302
Number of Pages:
4