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A Late Holocene desiccation of Lake Hoare and Lake Fryxell, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

  • W.B. Lyons (a1), S.W. Tyler (a2), R.A. Wharton (a2), D.M. McKnight (a3) and B.H. Vaughn (a3)...

Abstract

Stable isotope data from waters of lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDV) of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica are presented in order to establish the climatic history of this region over the past two millennia. New data from Lake Fryxell and Lake Hoare in Toylor Valley, along with previously published data from Lake Vanda, Wright Valley and Lake Bonney, Taylor Valley are used to infer the recent climatic history of MDV. Lakes Vanda, Fryxell and Bonney appear to have lost their ice covers and evaporated to small, hypersaline ponds by 1000 to ~1200 yr BP. Lake Hoare either desiccated or did not exist prior to 1200 yr BP. These data indicate a major lowering of lake level prior to ~1000 yr BP, followed by a warmer and/or more humid climate since then.

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