"The size and explosive growth rate of the newly discovered hole surprised them, however," they said.
The cavity was "large enough to contain 14 billion tons of ice, and most of this ice melted in the last three years," she added.
By Watching the Subpages From the Antarctic glaciers, researchers hope to calculate how fast the global sea level will rise in response to climate change.
The Thwaites Glacier is one of the most difficult to reach places on earth, and there is no way to monitor the Antarctic glaciers from the ground in the long run, scientists said.
Instead, the team used airborne and satellized ice radars to clear the cavities
for years has suggested that Thwaites was not firmly attached to the subsurface, "said Eric Rignot, one of the co-authors of the study.
" Thanks to a new generation of satellites, we can finally see the detail, "he said.
The glacier holds "enough ice to raise the ocean level to just over 65 cm," the team said, "Thwaites" also holds back adjacent glaciers, which would raise sea levels another 2.4 meters if the whole Ice would have been lost, "she added.
" To understand how the ocean melts this glacier, it is imperative to project it to impact sea-level rise over the next few decades, "said Rignot.