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Modeling present and future ice covers in two Antarctic lakes

  • Sebastián Echeverría (a1), Mark B. Hausner (a2) (a3), Nicolás Bambach (a4), Sebastián Vicuña (a1) (a4) (a5) and Francisco Suárez (a1) (a6) (a7)...


Antarctic lakes with perennial ice covers provide the opportunity to investigate in-lake processes without direct atmospheric interaction, and to study their ice-cover sensitivity to climate conditions. In this study, a numerical model – driven by radiative, atmospheric and turbulent heat fluxes from the water body beneath the ice cover – was implemented to investigate the impact of climate change on the ice covers from two Antarctic lakes: west lobe of Lake Bonney (WLB) and Crooked Lake. Model results agreed well with measured ice thicknesses of both lakes (WLB – RMSE= 0.11 m over 16 years of data; Crooked Lake – RMSE= 0.07 m over 1 year of data), and had acceptable results with measured ablation data at WLB (RMSE= 0.28 m over 6 years). The differences between measured and modeled ablation occurred because the model does not consider interannual variability of the ice optical properties and seasonal changes of the lake's thermal structure. Results indicate that projected summer air temperatures will increase the ice-cover annual melting in WLB by 2050, but that the ice cover will remain perennial through the end of this century. Contrarily, at Crooked Lake the ice cover becomes ephemeral most likely due to the increase in air temperatures.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Francisco Suárez, E-mail:


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Modeling present and future ice covers in two Antarctic lakes

  • Sebastián Echeverría (a1), Mark B. Hausner (a2) (a3), Nicolás Bambach (a4), Sebastián Vicuña (a1) (a4) (a5) and Francisco Suárez (a1) (a6) (a7)...


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