|Indicator Definition||The Deep Lake surface level indicator is defined as the depth below sea level|
of the surface of Deep Lake in the Vestfold Hills.
University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania Details
|The following 7 out of 15 criteria
|Date Input||Daily measurements|
Deep Lake Details
Geographic Coverage is
Longitude (78.1958 to 78.1958)
|Rationale For Indicator Selection||Deep Lake is the most saline of the lakes of the Vestfold Hills, and due to|
its salinity, has never been known to completely freeze. It is the only major
lake in Antarctica with this characteristic, which makes it a prime candidate
for monitoring water levels. This was recognised many years ago, and the water
level has been monitored on a monthly basis since 1976. This 25-year long
database is one of the longest non-weather records of the natural environment
in Antarctica. Significant changes in the water level have been observed over
The water level is related to water balance, that is the difference between
inputs by direct precipitation or from melt of snow banks in the drainage
basin, and losses, which include evaporation when the lake is ice free and
ablation when it ice covered.
Net loss terms are thought to be relatively constant from year to year, and
therefore water level is a measure of net precipitation. This may be direct
(falling within the drainage basin) or indirect (initially falling elsewhere,
but blown into the drainage basin by strong winds).
The water level of Deep Lake is a technologically simple measure of an
important parameter. The long existing database should be continued, and means
that all data collected can immediately be put into a long-term view.
|Design and Strategy For Indicator Monitoring Program|
Spatial scale: Deep Lake in the Vestfold Hills near Davis Station Antarctica.
Selection of Monitor. One member of the wintering group at Davis each year
will be designated the Deep Lake monitor, preferably during pre-departure
training. This person should discuss the project with the indicator custodian,
and be comfortable with the requirements of the position prior to leaving for
Antarctica. In the past, the person responsible for the measurements has often
been a non-scientist who otherwise would not normally get off base regularly.
This role provides a mechanism by which non-scientists can become involved in
a long term scientific program.
If at all possible, there should be a joint visit to Deep Lake by the outgoing
and incoming monitors over summer so that details of the location of the pole,
method for reading and input of the data into SIMR can be passed on. It is
recognised that this may not be possible during changeover, but if the
monitors share a longer period together on base, such a visit to the lake
should be made.
If the Deep Lake monitor has to leave Davis before winter, or no longer feels
he or she is able to fulfil this role, another expeditioner should be
designated to maintain continuity of the record.
Frequency: Readings of the surface level of Deep Lake should be taken monthly,
preferably within the last few days of any month. A week prior the end of the
month, an email will be sent to the Deep Lake monitor reminding him or her
that a measurement is due. If no data has been input into the SIMR system by
the end of the month, another email will be sent, which will be copied to the
Station Leader. This formal monthly reading does not preclude other visitors
to the lake recording data. Any expeditioners visiting the lake should be
encouraged to record data and pass it on to the designated monitor for
inclusion within SIMR. If readings input appear to be in error, the Indicator
Custodian will contact the monitor and either work out the problem or request
another measurement be made.
Technique: Water level is measured by use of a marked pole located near the
edge of the lake, which is in turn tied in to a nearby, accurately surveyed,
benchmark. The pole is marked in at 1 cm intervals, and should be read to the
closest centimetre. At least two expeditioners should make independent
estimates of the water level, which are then compared and a consensus
reached. This value, which is a relative, rather than direct measure of the
water level of Deep Lake, is input into the SIMR system. While at the lake,
note should be taken of the state of the pole. If any change in the position
of the pole has occurred since the last visit, an email should be sent to the
Indicator Custodian, giving details.
The position of the pole should be checked on an annual basis over summer.
This process can be done by surveyors, or, if none are available at Davis, by
expeditioners after consultation with the Indicator Custodian and the Mapping
Officer, Antarctic Division.
On the 22 Feb 2000, the base or zero reading of the "Tide Pole" at Deep Lake
was 51.333 metres below sea level. To derive the water level of Deep Lake
below mean sea level, the water level reading on the "Tide Pole" is added to
-51.333. Note that this is a negative value so any water level readings will
produce a smaller negative number.
|Research Issues||The annual cycle in water level can be readily explained, but longer-term|
variations are more difficult.
The input and output terms are understood, but how these are controlled by the
weather is less clear. Analysis of the water level data as well as weather
data from Davis station currently underway should clarify the situation.
Temporal range of the available data, as described by the metadata record, is from 01-Jan-1976.
Timespan: 19-February-1977 to 1-April-2015.
Number of data points: 688.
To view or download any of the data, you must be logged in
Pole height at Deep Lake, Davis
Deep Lake: Water level
|Data Quality, Interpretation and
Analysis of Indicator Data
Water level in closed lakes (i.e. those without a surface outlet) of the Vestfold Hills has varied markedly over the last thirty years. For example, the surface level of Ace Lake rose by about 2 metres between 1974 and 1994. Measurement of changes in the water level in most of the closed lakes is confounded by the presence of ice for approximately 11 months of the year. Retrieving actual water level in the presence of ice is possible, but difficult, and so only long-term changes can be identified.
The nature of the dataset makes it easy, at least at an initial level, to interpret. Changes in water level are clearly visible, and the graph of the data lends itself to presentation on the web, particularly due to the length of the dataset. There is an annual cycle in which the water level drops during winter, and increases again during summer. This is due to the cooling of the water, as well as decreased water input in winter. Relatively warm temperatures in summer result in thermal expansion of the water of the lake, as well as melt of snow banks in the drainage basins. Longer-term variations also occur. The lake rose by about 1 m between 1976 and 1988, when it began to fall again. This period of decrease in level may have ended in 2000.
More detailed analysis of the dataset to 2000 is currently underway. It is relatively straightforward to remove the annual variation mathematically to get a less noisy curve. The annual cycle in water level can be readily explained, but the longer-term variations are more difficult. The input and output terms are understood, but how these are controlled by the weather is less clear. Analysis of the water level data as well as weather data from Davis currently underway should clarify the situation.
|Data Usage Constraints|| '|
This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License
|Data Access Constraints|| '|
These data are publicly available for download from the URL given below.
For definitions of the Scale categories, consult the Explanation of the Status Categories
The properties link can be used to view details of the parameters measured for this indicator.
Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre