The photo is sourced from rscf.ru
Dolk Lake is an intraglacial reservoir in East Antarctica (not far from the Russian Progress station) covered with a multimeter layer of ice, which has not been opened for almost half a century. An exception was made in 2018 when Bolder Lake located higher in the ice column broke through the glacier separating it from Dolk Lake located below. One of the reasons was the glacier’s rising temperature, which reduced its viscosity and consequently increased the speed. Another impact was made by external environmental warming, which resulted in melting of the near-surface layer during the warm period. All these factors led to formation of a gap in the glacier, due to which Dolk Lake is Lake able to partially freeze.
The scientists of St. Petersburg State University tried to predict the probability of the lake “freezing, taking, as a basis, daily climatic data during 2012 to 2023, as well as two types of modeling. “The first is for verification of the model, i.e. for comparing the model calculations with the ones from the field studies. In this case, the input parameters of modeling were meteorological data of the Progress station. In the second case, the scientists modelled the process of Dolk Lake possible development for the next five years,” the Russian Science Foundation quotes Sergei Popov, associate professor at St. Petersburg State University.
The researchers modeled three different Lake scenarios. According to the first, the snow layer thickness (measured in metres) over the ice covering the Lake would remain unchanged, according to the second – it would increase uniformly (at the same rate as in the recent years) and according to the third one – it would sharply increase. However, according to all the three scenarios, there is available degradation of Dolk Lake as the Lake reservoir may freeze for 6-7 metres, which is about a quarter of its current depth.