Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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An Analysis of the Temperature Profiles of Some Antarctic Lakes

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posted on 2021-11-08, 01:08 authored by Shirtcliffe, T. G. L.

The temperature profiles of certain lakes in Taylor Valley, Victoria Land, Antarctica, are shown to be consistent with the hypothesis that these lakes were formerly cold brine pools; that their levels were raised by the addition of fresh water; and that they have since been heated principally by the absorption of sunlight. The temperature profile of a lake in Wright Valley, Victoria Land, is shown to be consistent with the hypothesis that this lake was formerly warm and stable, as are those Taylor Valley lakes which were analysed; that the addition of a further large quantity of fresh water caused instability and limited convection; and that the heat source is again absorbed sunlight. The study of this lake requires an understanding of convection in the presence of a gradient of solute concentration. A survey of existing knowledge of this type of convection shows that it is inadequate for the task. Experiments which provide the necessary information are described.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

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Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Christoffel, D. A.