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Students observe a subglacial lake model and measure changes in temperature, salinity and sea level rise as the glaciers/ice sheets and subglacial lakes melt.. Students will move from the small model to discussions of implications for Earth systems.

Key Concepts

  • Subglacial lakes—non-frozen lakes under vast ice sheets and glaciers
  • Ice sheets—large masses of ice found in Greenland and Antarctica
  • Diffuse discharge—for some subglacial lakes, the discharge is diffused over large areas
  • Focused Discharge—channels can focus water discharge from subglacial lakes
  • Salinity—as fresh water flows into the ocean, the salinity of the ocean goes down (freshening)
  • Electrical Conductivity—used to measure salinity
  • Dissolved Solids—in water these are mainly salts
  • Sea level rise—as land-based ice melts, it raises ocean levels