Green landscapes discovered under the Antarctic ice sheet

The frozen desert of the southernmost continent has a characteristic landscape, but it was not always like this, as this shocking discovery shows.

5 de November de 2023 10:09

The Antarctic surface hides life that existed about 34 million years ago.

American and British scientists, coordinated by a researcher from Durham University (United Kingdom), have revealed a discovery related to the landscape that existed in Antarctica before it was an icy continent .

For millions of years, a vast landscape of hills and valleys sculpted by rivers remained beneath tens or even hundreds of meters of ice, never seen by any human being .

(...) the West Antarctic ice sheet is likely to continue shrinking in the coming decades at a record pace.

In a large area of the white continent, there is an intact landscape, probably more than 34 million years old , in which trees, forests and animals have already been found. Thanks to a new methodological approach to previously collected data, it was It is possible to know more about the land beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet, which according to the coordinator of this study is less known than the surface of Mars.

Using data from a technique called "radar echo sounding" and crossing it with satellite images, the profile of a set of valleys sculpted by rivers and pointed mountains could be seen identical to those that can be found in North Wales, in Snowdonia National Park .


Landscapes and future of Antarctica

The scientific community believes that, after the previous discovery of a large lake and the most recent of these pristine landscapes, there may be more landscapes to discover under the permafrost of Antarctica .This chain of findings could lead to a better understanding of how the thick ice sheet covering East Antarctica formed and evolved.

By understanding Antarctica's past, we can try to predict and therefore plan the future of this continent, of great geopolitical importance.

By Agenda Malvinas


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