Skip to main content Accessibility help

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

  • Linda Nedbalová (a1) (a2), Daniel Nývlt (a3), Jiří Kopáček (a4), Miroslav Šobr (a5) and Josef Elster (a2) (a6)...


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.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Aristarain, A.J., Delmas, R.J.Briat, M. 1982. Snow chemistry on James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula). Journal of Geophysical Research, 87, 1100411012.
Aristarain, A.J., Pinglot, J.F.Pourchet, M. 1987. Accumulation and temperature measurements on the James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology, 33, 357362.
Barrett, J.E., Virginia, R.A., Lyons, W.B., McKnight, D.M., Priscu, J.C., Doran, P.T., Fountain, A.G., Wall, D.H.Moorhead, D.L. 2007. Biogeochemical stoichiometry of Antarctic Dry Valley ecosystems. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, 112.
Bendschneider, K.Robinson, R.J. 1952. A new spectrophotometric method for the determination of nitrite in sea water. Journal of Marine Research, 11, 8796.
Björck, S., Olsson, S., Ellis-Evans, C., Håkansson, H., Humlum, Lirio, J.M. 1996. Late Holocene palaeoclimatic records from lake sediments on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 121, 195220.
Borcard, D., Legendre, P.Drapeau, P. 1992. Partialling out the spatial component of ecological variation. Ecology, 73, 10451055.
Borghini, F.Bargagli, R. 2004. Changes of major ion concentrations in melting snow and terrestrial waters from northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 16, 107115.
Borghini, F., Colacevich, A., Caruso, T.Bargagli, R. 2008. Temporal variations in the water chemistry of northern Victoria Land lakes (Antarctica). Aquatic Science, 70, 134141.
Carrivick, J.L., Davies, B.J., Glasser, N.F., Nývlt, D.Hambrey, M.J. In press. Late Holocene changes in character and behaviour of land-terminating glaciers on James Ross Island, Antarctica. Journal of Glaciology.
Česák, J.Šobr, M. 2005. Methods of bathymetric mapping of Czech lakes. Geografie, 110, 141151.
CGS (Czech Geological Survey). 2009. James Ross Island - northern part. Topographic map, 1:25 000. Prague: Czech Geological Survey.
Davies, B.J., Glasser, N.F., Carrivick, J.L., Hambrey, M.J., Smellie, J.L.Nývlt, D. In press. Landscape evolution and ice-sheet behaviour in a semi-arid polar environment: James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula. Special Publication, Geological Society of London.
Engel, Z., Nývlt, D.Láska, K. 2012. Ice thickness, areal and volumetric changes of Davies Dome and Whisky Glacier in 1979–2006 (James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula). Journal of Glaciology, 58, 904914.
Engstrom, D.R., Fritz, S.C., Almendinger, J.E.Juggins, S. 2000. Chemical and biological trends during lake evolution in recently deglaciated terrain. Nature, 408, 161166.
Fukui, K., Sone, T., Strelin, J.A., Torielli, C.A., Mori, J.Fujii, Y. 2008. Dynamics and GPR stratigraphy of a polar rock glacier on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Glaciology, 54, 445451.
Golterman, H.L.Clymo, R.S. 1969. Methods for chemical analysis of fresh waters. Oxford: Blackwell, 172 pp.
Hawes, I., Safi, I., Sorrel, B., Webster-Brown, J.G., Brown, K.L.Arscott, D. 2011. Summer–winter transitions in Antarctic ponds I: The physical environment. Antarctic Science, 23, 235242.
Healy, M., Webster-Brown, J.G., Brown, K.L.Lane, V. 2006. Chemistry and stratification of Antarctic meltwater ponds II: Inland ponds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Victoria Land. Antarctic Science, 18, 525533.
Hecky, R.E., Campbell, P.Hendzel, L.L. 1993. The stoichiometry of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in particulate matter of lakes and oceans. Limnology and Oceanography, 38, 709724.
Hjort, C., Ingólfsson, Ó., Möller, P.Lirio, J.M. 1997. Holocene glacial history and sealevel changes on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Quaternary Science, 12, 259273.
Hutchinson, E.G. 1957. A treatise on limnology. Vol. I. Geography, physics and chemistry. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1015 pp.
Johnson, J.S., Bentley, M.J., Roberts, S.J., Binnie, S.A.Freeman, S.P.H.T. 2011. Holocene deglacial history of the northeast Antarctic Peninsula - A review and new chronological constraints. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 37913802.
Komárek, J.Elster, J. 2008. Ecological background of cyanobacterial assemblages of the northern part of James Ross Island, Antarctica. Polish Polar Research, 29, 1732.
Kopáček, J.Hejzlar, J. 1993. Semi-micro determination of total phosphorus in fresh waters with perchloric acid digestion. International Journal of Environmental Analytical Chemistry, 53, 173183.
Kopáček, J., Hejzlar, J.Mosello, R. 2000. Estimation of organic acid anion concentrations and evaluation of charge balance in atmospherically acidified colored waters. Water Research, 34, 35983606.
Košler, J., Magna, T., Mlčoch, B., Mixa, P., Nývlt, D.Holub, F.V. 2009. Combined Sr, Nd, Pb and Li isotope geochemistry of alkaline lavas from northern James Ross Island (Antarctic Peninsula) and implications for back-arc magma formation. Chemical Geology, 258, 207218.
Morford, S.L., Houlton, B.Z.Dahlgren, R.A. 2011. Increased forest ecosystem carbon and nitrogen storage from nitrogen rich bedrock. Nature, 477, 7881.
Murphy, J.Riley, J.P. 1962. A modified single-solution method for the determination of phosphate in natural waters. Analytica Chimica Acta, 27, 3136.
Nelson, P.H.H. 1966. The James Ross Island Volcanic Group of north-east Graham Land. British Antarctic Survey Scientific Reports, 54, 62 pp.
Nývlt, D., Košler, J., Mlčoch, B., Mixa, P., Lisá, L., Bubík, M.Hendriks, B.W.H. 2011. The Mendel Formation: evidence for Late Miocene climatic cyclicity at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 299, 363384.
Olivero, E.B., Scasso, R.A.Rinaldi, C.A. 1986. Revision of the Marambio Group, James Ross Island, Antarctica. Instituto Antartico Argentino, Contribución, 331, 128.
Priscu, J.C. 1995. Phytoplankton nutrient deficiency in lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Freshwater Biology, 34, 215227.
Quayle, W.C., Peck, L.S., Peat, H., Ellis-Evans, J.C.Harrigan, P.R. 2002. Extreme responses to climate change in Antarctic lakes. Science, 295, 645.
Redfield, A.C. 1958. The biological control of chemical factors in the environment. American Scientist, 46, 205221.
Roberts, S.J., Hodgson, D.A., Sterken, M., Whitehouse, P.L., Verleyen, E., Vyverman, W., Sabbe, K., Balbo, A., Bentley, M.J.Moreton, S.G. 2011. Geological constraints on glacio-isostatic adjustment models of relative sea level change during deglaciation of Prince Gustav Channel, Antarctic Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews, 30, 36033617.
Sabbe, K., Hodgson, D.A., Verleyen, E., Taton, A., Wilmotte, A., Vanhoutte, K.Vyverman, W. 2004. Salinity, depth and the structure and composition of microbial mats in continental Antarctic lakes. Freshwater Biology, 49, 296319.
Siegert, M.J., Carter, S., Tabacco, I., Popov, S.Blankenship, D. 2005. A revised inventory of Antarctic subglacial lakes. Antarctic Science, 17, 453460.
Smellie, J.L., Johnson, J.S., McIntosh, W.C., Esser, R., Gudmundsson, M.T., Hambrey, M.J.van Wyk de Vries, B. 2008. Six million years of glacial history recorded in volcanic lithofacies of the James Ross Island Volcanic Group, Antarctic Peninsula. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 260, 122148.
Sone, T., Fukui, K., Strelin, J.A., Torielli, C.A.Mori, J. 2007. Glacier lake outburst flood on James Ross Island, Antarctic Peninsula region. Polish Polar Research, 28, 312.
Sterken, M., Roberts, S.J., Hodgson, D.A., Vyverman, W., Balbo, A.L., Sabbe, K., Moreton, S.G.Verleyen, E. 2012. Holocene glacial and climate history of Prince Gustav Channel, northeastern Antarctic Peninsula. Quaternary Science Reviews, 31, 93111.
Svojtka, M., Nývlt, D., Murakami, M., Vávrová, J., Filip, J.Mixa, P. 2009. Provenance and post-depositional low-temperature evolution of the James Ross Basin sedimentary rocks (Antarctic Peninsula) based on fission track analysis. Antarctic Science, 21, 593607.
ter Braak, C.J.F.Šmilauer, P. 2002. CANOCO reference manual and user's guide to Canoco for Windows: software for Canonical Community Ordination (Version 4.5). Ithaca, NY: Microcomputer Power, 500 pp.
Toro, M., Camacho, A., Rochera, C., Roco, E., Banon, M., Fernandez-Valiente, E., Marco, E., Justel, A., Avendano, M.C., Ariosa, Y., Vincent, W.F.Quesada, A. 2007. Limnological characteristics of the freshwater ecosystems of Byers Peninsula, Livingston Island, in Maritime Antarctica. Polar Biology, 30, 635649.
Vaughan, D.G., Marshall, G.J., Connolley, W.M., Parkinson, C., Mulvaney, R., Hodgson, D.A., King, J.C., Pudsey, C.J.Turner, J. 2003. Recent rapid regional climate warming on the Antarctic Peninsula. Climatic Change, 60, 243274.
Verleyen, E., Hodgson, D.A., Gibson, J., Imura, S., Kaup, E., Kudoh, S., De Wever, A., Hoshino, T., McMinn, A., Obbels, D., Roberts, D., Roberts, S., Sabbe, K., Souffreau, C., Tavernier, I., van Nieuwenhuyze, W., van Ranst, E., Vindevogel, N.Vyverman, W. 2012. Chemical limnology in coastal East Antarctic lakes: monitoring future climate change in centres of endemism and biodiversity. Antarctic Science, 24, 2333.
Vincent, W.F.Howard-Williams, C. 1994. Nitrate-rich inland waters of the Ross Ice Shelf region, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 6, 339346.
Vincent, W.F.Laybourn-Parry, J. 2008. Polar lakes and rivers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 327 pp.
Webster-Brown, J., Gall, M., Gibson, J., Wood, S.Hawes, I. 2010. The biogeochemistry of meltwater habitats in the Darwin Glacier region (80°S), Victoria Land, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 22, 646661.
Whitham, A.G., Ineson, J.R.Pirrie, D. 2006. Marine volcaniclastics of the Hidden Lake Formation (Coniacian) of James Ross Island, Antarctica: an enigmatic element in the history of a back-arc basin. In Francis, J.E., Pirrie, D. & Crame, J.A., eds. Cretaceous–Tertiary high latitude palaeoenvironments, James Ross Basin, Antarctica. Geological Society, London, Special Publication, 258, 21–47.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO
Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

NEDBALOVÁ Supplementary Material

 PDF (17.4 MB)
17.4 MB

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

  • Linda Nedbalová (a1) (a2), Daniel Nývlt (a3), Jiří Kopáček (a4), Miroslav Šobr (a5) and Josef Elster (a2) (a6)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.