2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Paper No. 179-9
Presentation Time: 3:45 PM-4:00 PM

BLOOD FALLS: A FROZEN SALINE DISCHARGE, A STRANGE CURIOSITY, OR AN IMPORTANT CLUE TO HISTORY OF TAYLOR VALLEY

LYONS, W. Berry1, WELCH, Kathleen1, MCKNIGHT, Diane2, and PRISCU, John C.3, (1) Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State Univ, Columbus, OH 43210, lyons.142@osu.edu, (2) INSTARR, Univ of Colorado, 1560 30th Street, Campus Box 450, Boulder, CO 80309, (3) Dept of Land Res. & Env. Sciences, Montana State University, 334 Leon Johnson Hall, Bozeman, MT, 59717

Although first described by Black et al. (1965), Blood Falls, an iron-rich, saline discharge at the snout of Taylor Glacier in the head of Taylor Valley, may have been noticed by Griffith Taylor in 1911. Since 1965, the geochemistry, and more recently the biogeochemistry of this very unusual feature have been investigated. We present data collected from Blood Falls on a sub-annual basis from 1993-2003. The discharge “ages” or evolves through time from high salinity, Na-Cl dominated brine to lower salinity and a solution more dominated by Ca-SO4. This aging process is similar to what was observed by earlier workers. The geochemistry of the discharge resembles that of seawater, but there have been modifications, such as addition of more radiogenic Sr. It is clear that Blood Falls is somehow related to the hypolimnetic waters of Lake Bonney. Because Lake Bonney is perhaps the oldest of the Taylor Valley lakes, the age of Blood Falls and its source of solutes is more than a passing curiosity. We suggest, as others before us, that Blood Falls is the remnant of a past marine incursion into Taylor Valley that could be of Miocene/Pliocene age.

2003 Seattle Annual Meeting (November 2–5, 2003)
Session No. 179
McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1903–2003: A Celebration of a Century of Science
Washington State Convention and Trade Center: 613/614
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Tuesday, November 4, 2003

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 35, No. 6, September 2003, p. 464

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