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Monday, 15 September 2014 09:01

Tunnels as tall as the Eiffel Tower discovered under ice layer in Antarctica

Tunnels as tall as the Eiffel Tower discovered under ice layer in Antarctica Credits: Daily Mail

Scientists have discovered tunnels beneath thick ice layers in Antarctica, which are comparable in height to the Eiffel Tower. Their discovery was made possible by radars, mounted on planes, as well as satellite photographs, revealing that existence of ridges and cavities on the ice surface corresponded to tunnels at the base of the ice layer. 

Researchers from UK Universities and the British Antarctic Survey Centre detected the tunnels after flying a plane over the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf in West Antarctica. The plane carrying the scientists was especially designed to operate in remote locations and was equipped with remote sensors, providing the crew with data on the land, ice and sea that it flew over. Specially-designed radar equipment was used to decipher the tunnels under the ice, which measure 820ft in height, a number comparable to the Eiffel Tower, which measures 987 feet and about four times greater to the Tower Bridge, which measures 213 feet.

The researchers' group concluded that the formation of the tunnels is attributed to melt water flowing underneath the ice layer over the land and into the ocean. Another interesting conclusion from this discovery is that water moved under the ice in concentrated channels, likewise rivers as opposed to their previous belief that melt-water moved under ice layers in thin evenly-spread continuous sheets. 

The scientific team has already published their work in the journal Nature Geoscience and will now apply this knowledge to predict how this tunnel - ice layer system will respond to climate change. 

Source: DailyMail

Read 1949 times Last modified on Monday, 15 September 2014 09:41

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