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Lake CECs

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Title: Lake CECs  
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Subject: Ellsworth Land, Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena Region, Chilean Antarctic Territory, Wilhelmina Bay, Azerbaijan Scientific Expedition
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Lake CECs

Lake CECs
Lake type Subglacial
Basin countries Antarctica (Territory only claimed by Chile)
Surface area [40]
Surface elevation ~ sea level; ice surface[40]
Islands 0

Lake CECs is a subglacial lake in Antarctica at approximately latitude 80° S. It has an estimated area of 18 km². The territory where the lake is located, some 160 km from Union Glacier, is claimed only by Chile.

The lake is located in a buffer zone of three major West Antarctic glaciers. The movement of the ice is almost nonexistent and the area is in a situation of low disturbance. This allows the body of water to be extremely stable, with minimal mass exchanges with its environment.[40] This favors the hypothesis that the lake could support endemic life, which would have developed in extreme isolation.[44]

Lake CECs was discovered by the Chilean research center Centro de Estudios Científicos (CECs). The first signs of the lake were detected during Antarctic summer in January 2014, when a mobile research station team journeyed through the central plateau of West Antarctica. Measurements showed unusual subglacial radar returns, indicating the presence of a waterbody at some 2.6 kilometers depth under the ice. An initial mapping with an ice-penetrating radar confirmed the finding. The research team returned in summer of 2015 and the mapping was completed. The findings were published in a Geophysical Research Letters report by four members of the CECs Glaciology Laboratory.[44]


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Further reading

  • (Spanish) Spanish Article (Lago CECs)
  • Glaciology Laboratory of CECs and University of Chile article
  • Emol Artícle (El Mercurio Newspaper, Chile)
  • "Las Últimas Noticias" Newspaper article
  • BioBio Chile Radio Article.

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