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Published on Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Greenland Ice Sheet


A glaciologist named Kristin Poinar discusses the impact of the massive melting ice sheet in Greenland and what happens to the body of water sitting under the ice sheet. The NASA research to study the large glaciers in Greenland, which are almost the size of Mexico, was able to map the hills and valleys of the bedrock flowing into the ocean using radar technology.

Scientists revealed a body of water the volume of lake Tahoe hidden beneath the 7-story ice sheets. Snow melting in the summer trickles through the ice sheets and is stored below, where the sheets act as an insulator. Scientists were astonished to learn just how much of the ice sheet was melting each year. Poinar puts it into perspective by explaining that the amount of water piled up at one location could drown the continent of Australia.

While attempting to learn more about what happens to the water, researchers found that apart from being stored, some of the aquifer water flows into crevasses, or cracks in the ice, and begins to expand the depth and width of the crevasses. Solid material like rocks can often be drilled just by the use of pressurized fluid. As the crevasses expand towards the bedrock thousands of meters below it creates a clear path to the ocean contributing to the increase of 3 millimeters per year of sea level.

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Author: AThompson

Categories: Blogs, Research, Climate & Weather, Videos, Research, Climate & Weather



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