Saturday, May 26, 2018

Antarctica has mountain ranges and valleys bigger than Manhattan deep beneath its ice

Mountain ranges and valleys hundreds of miles long have been sitting deep beneath Western Antarctica’s vast ice region, a discovery that scientists say could contribute to rising global sea levels. A team of British researchers used ice-penetrating radar to map the subglacial landscape, which they say adds a key piece of evidence to understand the frozen continent’s past, present and future behavior. The researchers discovered three valleys linking Antarctica’s two major parts: the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet and the far bigger Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet. The biggest of the valleys, called Foundation Trough, is 217 miles long, nearly equal to the distance between Washington, D.C., and New York City. Its width is more than 20 miles, longer than Manhattan island. The other valley, called Patuxent Trough, is nearly 200 miles long and nine miles wide. The smallest, the Offset Rift Basin, is 93 miles long and 18 miles wide...MORE

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