Antarctica, hidden mountain ranges

In a discovery, the researchers have discovered the mountain ranges along with three huge and deep subglacial valleys which are hidden under the huge ice sheet of Antarctica.

According to the Kate winter, who is the co-author has said that these types of troughs usually help in channelising the ice from the centre of the continent and it then takes towards the coast. For this reason, if the climatic conditions change in Antarctica, we might face a problem as these ice sheets will flow towards the sea much faster than it is.

The study has been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, and they are the first to emerge from the extensive ice which penetrates the radar data which are collected in Antarctica, and it is the part of the European Space Agency PolarGAP project.

Although Antarctica is mapped with the help of the image that was taken with the help of the satellite and its deep interior, there was a gap which is present around the South Pole area as they cannot be covered by the satellites due to the inclination of the orbits. The project named as PolarGAP was designed to fill the gap in the satellite data coverage of the South Pole.

According to the Kate Winter, who is a research fellow at Northumbria University said, “As there were gaps in satellite data around the South Pole, no one knew exactly what was there, so we are delighted to be able to release the very first findings to emerge from the PolarGAP project. We now understand that the mountainous region is preventing ice from East Antarctica flowing through West Antarctica to the coast. In addition, we have also discovered three subglacial valleys in West Antarctica which could be important in the future.”


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