Articles | Volume 16, issue 2
Research article
 | Highlight paper
02 Feb 2022
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 02 Feb 2022

Radar sounding survey over Devon Ice Cap indicates the potential for a diverse hypersaline subglacial hydrological environment

Anja Rutishauser, Donald D. Blankenship, Duncan A. Young, Natalie S. Wolfenbarger, Lucas H. Beem, Mark L. Skidmore, Ashley Dubnick, and Alison S. Criscitiello

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Cited articles

Achberger, A. M., Michaud, A. B., Vick-Majors, T. J., Christner, B. C., Skidmore, M. L., Priscu, J. C., and Tranter, M.: Microbiology of Subglacial Environments, in: Psychrophiles: From Biodiversity to Biotechnology, Springer International Publishing, Cham, 83–110,, 2017. 
Arctic Gravity Project: (last access: 16 October 2018), 2006. 
Arnold, N. S., Conway, S. J., Butcher, F. E. G., and Balme, M. R.: Modeled Subglacial Water Flow Routing Supports Localized Intrusive Heating as a Possible Cause of Basal Melting of Mars' South Polar Ice Cap, J. Geophys. Res.-Planets, 124, 2101–2116,, 2019. 
Badgeley, J. A., Pettit, E. C., Carr, C. G., Tulaczyk, S., Mikucki, J. A., and Lyons, W. B.: An englacial hydrologic system of brine within a cold glacier: Blood Falls, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, J. Glaciol., 63, 1–14,, 2017. 
Bierson, C. J., Tulaczyk, S., Courville, S. W., and Putzig, N. E.: Strong MARSIS Radar Reflections From the Base of Martian South Polar Cap May Be Due to Conductive Ice or Minerals, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48, e2021GL093880,, 2021. 
Short summary
Recently, a hypersaline subglacial lake complex was hypothesized to lie beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic. Here, we present results from a follow-on targeted aerogeophysical survey. Our results support the evidence for a hypersaline subglacial lake and reveal an extensive brine network, suggesting more complex subglacial hydrological conditions than previously inferred. This hypersaline system may host microbial habitats, making it a compelling analog for bines on other icy worlds.