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Freshwater lakes of Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, north-east Antarctic Peninsula: origin, geomorphology and physical and chemical limnology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 October 2012

Linda Nedbalová*
Department of Ecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Viničná 7, 12844 Prague 2, Czech Republic Institute of Botany AS CR, Dukelská 135, 37982 Třeboň, Czech Republic
Daniel Nývlt
Czech Geological Survey, Brno branch, Leitnerova 22, 65869 Brno, Czech Republic
Jiří Kopáček
Institute of Hydrobiology, Biology Centre AS CR, Na Sádkách 7, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic
Miroslav Šobr
Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague, Albertov 6, 12843 Prague 2, Czech Republic
Josef Elster
Institute of Botany AS CR, Dukelská 135, 37982 Třeboň, Czech Republic Centre for Polar Ecology, Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branišovská 31, 37005 České Budějovice, Czech Republic


This study describes the origin, bedrock geology, geomorphology, hydrological stability and physical and chemical characteristics of a representative set of 29 lakes in the ice-free parts of the Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island, located close to the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Based on these features, six different types of lakes were defined: stable shallow lakes on higher-altitude levelled surfaces, shallow coastal lakes, stable lakes in old moraines, small unstable lakes in young moraines, deep cirque lakes and kettle lakes. We observed a significant relationship between lake type and water chemistry. Bedrock, lake age and morphometry together with altitude were the most important factors underlying the observed limnological variability. Our results further suggested possible nitrogen limitation in the lake ecosystems. However, physical factors such as low temperature and light were also likely to be limiting.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2012 

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