Researchers have discovered mountain ranges and three huge, deep subglacial valleys hidden beneath the Antarctica ice.
The findings of the study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, are widely available in Antarctica as Part of the European Space Agency PolarGAP project.
Although there are extensive satellite data that help the earth and its deep interior, there is a gap around the South Pole area, which is not covered by satellites due to the inclination of their orbits.
Airborne radar data were thus collected to enable mapping of the South Pole and in particular acquire the missing gravity data bedrock topography hidden beneath the ice sheet.
The team, led by researchers from Northumbria University in the UK, has mapped for the first time three vast, subglacial valleys in West Antarctica ,
If climate change causes the ice sheet to thin, these troughs could increase the speed at which ice flows from the center of Antarctica to the sea, raising global sea levels. The largest valley, known as the Foundation Trough, is more than 350 kilometers long and 35 kilometers wide. New York's Manhattan Island.
The two other troughs are equally vast. The Patuxent Trough is 300 miles long and 1
"As there were gaps in satellite data around the South Pole, no one knew exactly what What is there, so we are delighted to report the emergence of the PolarGAP project, "Kate Winter, a research fellow at Northumbria University."
"We now understand that the mountainous region is from the East Antarctica flowing through West Antarctica to the coast. In addition, we have discovered three subglacial valleys in West Antarctica, which could be important in the future, "Winter said.
" If the ice sheet thins or retreats, these topographically-controlled corridors could facilitate enhanced flow of ice further inland, and could lead to the West Antarctic ice divide moving, "she said.
" This would, in turn, increase the speed and rate at which ice flows out of the center of Antarctica to its edges, leading to increase in global sea levels, "she added."
"By virtue of this, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet may have responded to change and how it may do so in the future, "Fausto Ferraccioli, principal investigator of the European Space Agency PolarGAP project.
" Our new aerogeophysical data wants to enable new research into the geological processes that created the mountains and basi ns before the Antarctic ice sheet itself was born, "said Ferraccioli.