Antarctic Record (Mar 1977)

On the Chemical Compositions of the Lake Waters and Evaporites in the Prince Olav Coast, Antarctica

  • Jun-ichi HIRABAYASHI,
  • Joyo OSSAKA

Journal volume & issue
no. 58
pp. 169 – 170


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Geochemical researches were carried out for the period from December 1972 to February 1974 on the lake waters in the following seven areas along the Prince Olav Coast; Sinnan Rocks, Gape Hinode, East Ongul Island, West Ongul Island, Langhovde, Skarvsnes and Skallen. 93 lake water samples were collected and their major components were analyzed. The following results were obtained with respect to chemical compositions of these lake waters and the origin of their salts. 1) These lakes along the Prince Olav Coast were classified into the following three types according to their topographical origin; lakes created by collapse of extant glaciers, lakes created by the direct invasion of sea water in the past, and lakes of meteoric waters in depressions of the ground. 2) Total concentration of salts in these lake waters ranges from 6.7 mg/l to 3.26×10^5 mg/l. Many high-salinity lakes where the total concentration of salts exceeds 1×10^4 mg/l were found in Langhovde and Skarvsnes, whereas in the other areas few lakes contained more than 1×10^3 mg/l salts. 3) The salts dissolved in these lake waters originate from sea water. The deviations of the chemical composition of the lake waters from that of sea water are ascribed to wind blown sea spray which affected the chemical composition. Furthermore, the mineral components of evaporites in the respective areas were identified by X-ray powder diffraction. The result revealed that the amounts and the kinds of minerals are somewhat different from place to place. On the whole, white water-soluble minerals are mainly halite (NaCl). And paragenetic minerals are thenardite (Na_2SO_4), epsomite (MgSO_4・7H_2O), hexahydrite (MgSO_4・6H_2O) and gypsum (CaSO_4・2H_2O), though their combinations with halite are variable in each evaporite. In Sinnan Rocks and Skallen, atacamite (1/2(CuCl_2・3CuO・3H_2O)) was observed remarkably.