In a new astonishing discovery, the scientists have found deep troughs which run for hundreds of kilometers, and it cuts through the tall mountains which are not visible at the snowy surface of the continent.
A team of scientists who all are from the Netherlands, Denmark, UK, and Norway had discovered three canyons in Antarctica which are hidden beneath hundreds of feet inside interior Antarctica. The research paper which was published in this month in the journal Geophysical Research Letters said that the canyons are present in the region which lies in the East and West Antarctica Ice Sheets. The deep subterranean grooves are now channelising the ice flow into the sea as the two sheets usually come together.
According to the Kate Winter, who is a researcher at Northumbria University in the UK and also the lead author on the paper said, “If climate conditions change in Antarctica, we might expect the ice in these troughs to flow a lot faster towards the sea. That makes them important, and we didn’t know they existed before now.”
The study said that the Antarctic ice sheets are expected to get thinning as the planet warms. This thing already started to happen in Antarctica, and the ice shelves skirt the rim of the sheets. If this happens, the result will change in mass will trigger an acceleration of ice flow through the grooves and could act as a feedback loop driving and further ice-sheet breaking leads to a rise in sea level.
Among the three canyons, the largest canyon which researchers have found and named it as Foundation Trough and it is more than 217 miles long and about 22 miles wide. As per Winter, she said, “These troughs channelise ice from the centre of the continent, taking it towards the coast. Therefore, if climate conditions change in Antarctica, we might expect the ice in these troughs to flow a lot faster towards the sea. That makes them important, and we didn’t know they existed before now.”