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Interannual and seasonal changes in the ice cover of glacial lakes in the Snowy Mountains of Australia

  • K. GreenEmail author
Article

Abstract

Seasonal ice cover is uncommon on Australian lakes. In the Snowy Mountains, there are five natural, seasonally ice-covered lakes including Lake Cootapatamba, the highest lake in Australia. Blue Lake is the only one of the five lakes with sufficient volume to be relatively independent of short-term changes in ambient temperature, and therefore is the lake most likely to be of use in tracking long-term regional climate change. Ice forms on Blue Lake near the winter solstice and ice-breakup occurs from late September to November. Timing of breakup is related to spring temperature and, as such, mirrors the timing of general snow thaw in the mountains. The existence of historic photographs taken of the lake at about the time of ice breakup allows for the possibility of reconstructing a history of alpine climate and in 1905 ice breakup was probably as late as mid-December.

Keywords

Climate change Mountain lakes Tarn 

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Parks and Wildlife ServiceSnowy Mountains RegionJindabyneAustralia

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