Vast channels beneath Antarctic ice discovered
Washington: Scientists have discovered 250 meter ice channels beneath a floating ice shelf in Antarctica.
The channels are likely to influence the stability of the ice shelf and their discovery will help researchers understand how the ice will respond to changing environmental conditions.
Researchers from the University of Exeter, Newcastle University, the University of Bristol, the University of Edinburgh, the British Antarctic Survey and the University of York, used satellite images and airborne radar measurements to reveal the channels under the ice shelf.
The channels can be seen on the surface of the ice shelf, as well as underneath, because the ice floats at a different height depending on its thickness.
The researchers also predicted the path of melt water flowing under the part of the ice in contact with the land - known as the ice sheet. They discovered that the predicted flow paths lined up with the channels under the ice shelf at the point where the ice starts to float.
The match-up indicates that the water flow beneath the grounded ice sheet is responsible for the formation of the channels beneath the floating ice shelf. When the meltwater flowing under the ice sheet enters the ocean beneath the ice shelf, it causes a plume of ocean water to form, which then melts out the vast channels under the ice shelf.
Previously, it was thought that water flowed in a thin layer beneath the ice sheet, but the evidence from this study suggests it flows in a more focussed manner much like rivers of water. The way in which water flows beneath the ice sheet strongly influences the speed of ice flow, however, the implications for the future of the ice sheet are yet to be determined.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Afzal Guru row: JNU Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested
- Missing girl from Ghaziabad, Dipti Sarna returns; reunited with family
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU
- DNA: Analysis on actions taken against students protesting at JNU - Part II
- Watch: How students at JNU showcased anti-India spirit! - Part II
- Afzal Guru row: JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested by Delhi Police
- Fitoor movie review: Tabu overpowers, Katrina Kaif, Aditya Roy Kapur leave a lasting impact!
- Was abducted, blindfolded for four hours; Snapdeal employee Dipti Sarna narrates her ordeal
- VIDEO: Shikhar Dhawan reveals impact of Yuvraj Singh in India dressing room
- Kidnappers treated me well, gave me money to reach home: Snapdeal executive Dipti Sarna's 36-hour ordeal