Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers

2011 Edition
| Editors: Vijay P. Singh, Pratap Singh, Umesh K. Haritashya

Lake Vostok

  • Malte ThomaEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-90-481-2642-2_318


Subglacial Lake. A lake covered by an ice sheet or glacier.


Subglacial Lake Vostok is the largest of at least 370 (Wright and Siegert, 2010) subglacial lakes in Antarctica, and it was the first to be discovered. A lot of our knowledge about Antarctica, about the Earth’s climate history, and about the subglacial lakes has been descended from the research station built at this location. This contribution summarizes some of the knowledge gained after more than 50 years of research in the heart of Antarctica, on top of, within, and below the ice.

On top of the ice: discovery

During the International Geophysical Year, the Second Soviet Antarctic Expedition encountered a quite plain area in the center of Antarctica. For the intended permanently manned station far away from any human settlement, airborne transport is indispensable, and hence this location was chosen to establish Vostok Station, on December 16, 1957. It is located close to the Southern Pole of...

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bavarian Academy and Sciences, Commission for GlaciologyMunichGermany
  2. 2.Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine ResearchBremerhavenGermany