Articles | Volume 16, issue 12
Brief communication
16 Dec 2022
Brief communication |  | 16 Dec 2022

Brief communication: The hidden labyrinth: deep groundwater in Wright Valley, Antarctica

Hilary A. Dugan, Peter T. Doran, Denys Grombacher, Esben Auken, Thue Bording, Nikolaj Foged, Neil Foley, Jill Mikucki, Ross A. Virginia, and Slawek Tulaczyk


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Short summary
In the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a deep groundwater system has been hypothesized to connect Don Juan Pond and Lake Vanda, both surface waterbodies that contain very high concentrations of salt. This is unusual, since permafrost in polar landscapes is thought to prevent subsurface hydrologic connectivity. We show results from an airborne geophysical survey that reveals widespread unfrozen brine in Wright Valley and points to the potential for deep valley-wide brine conduits.