Ice thickness was measured from the bottom of the ice cover to the piezometric water level and to the top of the ice cover. Because most limnological sampling holes are drilled in low-lying areas, it was thought that ice thickness measurements were biased. Therefore, random ice thickness measurements were performed in a 1000 m^2 sampling grid on each lake in past years. Statistical analyses by Dr. Priscu have shown that measurements from three ice holes are representative of the ice thickness measured by this grid system.
Detailed physical descriptions of lakes found in the McMurdo Dry Valleys.
Lake Fryxell basin is formed by a moraine depression in a wider portion of the Taylor Valley. It has a number of moraine islands and shallower areas, as well as several relatively well developed deltas.
The lake is fed by at least 10 meltwater streams with a total drainage catchment of 230 km2. The lake is dammed to the southwest by the Canada Glacier and is topographically closed.