Lake CECs

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Lake CECs
Lake CECs is located in Antarctica
Lake CECs
Lake CECs
Location of CECs Lake near Union Glacier.
Coordinates 79°14′49″S 87°38′28″W / 79.2470°S 87.6411°W / -79.2470; -87.6411Coordinates: 79°14′49″S 87°38′28″W / 79.2470°S 87.6411°W / -79.2470; -87.6411
Lake type Subglacial
Basin countries Antarctica (Territory only claimed by Chile)
Surface area 18 km2 (10 sq mi)[1]
Surface elevation ~ −600 m (−2,000 ft) sea level; −2.65 km (−8,700 ft) ice surface[1]
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.[1] This favors the hypothesis that the lake could support endemic life, which would have developed in extreme isolation.[2]

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.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Rivera, Andrés; Uribe, José; Zamora, Rodrigo; Oberreuter, Jonathan (May 28, 2015). "Subglacial Lake CECs: Discovery and in situ survey of a privileged research site in West Antarctica". Geophysical Research Letters. AGU Publications. 42 (10): 3944–3953. doi:10.1002/2015gl063390. Retrieved October 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "CECs scientists discover a new subglacial lake in West Antarctica". Centro de Estudios Científicos. 

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