Antarctica’s Underground

In: Maps Science

5 Dec 2011

Using ice penetrating radar, scientists have mapped out the ground and mountains that lie beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets. The project is interesting because it draws on decades of work from many different teams and datasets, and will help create more accurate models of melt rates.

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4 Responses to Antarctica’s Underground

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John F. Opie

December 6th, 2011 at 7:36 am

Did they figure out which ones are the Mountains of Madness? Us Lovecraft fans want to know! :-)

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Ryan

December 7th, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I found this fascinating but poorly described by the BBC article. While the maps presented do a great job of illustrating the peaks and troughs of the landscape, it gives me no reference to what the ice covers up and what it does not.

Are those highest peaks COMPLETELY underneath ice? Are the deepest troughs completely filled in with ice? So to someone standing on the surface Antartica is one giant completely flat plane? I presume it isn’t and would therefore be more fascinated if I could understand where the ice layer resides in reference to these factors.

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alekseiy

December 13th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

@ryan: the bbc article states in its 3rd paragraph:
“It is remarkable to think that less than 1% of this rock base projects above the continent’s frozen veil.”

so, yes: those highest peaks are almost completely covered with ice and those throughs are filled with it.

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Paoloo

December 20th, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Piris Reis found that 500 years ago, so it’s not a discovery.

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