Science

Scientists Identify 50+ Lakes Hidden Under Ice Sheet In Greenland

A recent study carried out by scientists checking for existence of water in Greenland has revealed that there are 50 plus new lakes under the ice sheet in the region whereas earlier studies had revealed just four lakes. The research was carried out by US based Lancaster University and UK based Imperial College of London showed that northern polar region of Antarctica also has several lakes and the largest one is just 6 km long which is nothing in comparison to Lake Vostok located in southern region which is nearly 250 kilometers long. Water can pool under thick ice sheets for a wide number of reasons say scientists.

Climatic conditions when there is pressure from above followed by geothermal heat currents from below can lead to formation of liquid pools. Sometime melt water from the surface can also drain into the bed and pool into small and large hollows below the ice. Researchers are always on the lookout for such lakes as it shows the natural behavior of hydrology table underneath ice sheets that influences the way they move. As the weather becomes warmer around the world, water acts as a lubricant below ice sheets and starts sliding them towards the ocean.

This action of water and melting ice blocks helps researchers make projections about rising sea levels. According to scientists’ projections if the entire ice in Greenland were to melt it would increase ocean levels across the globe by 7mm. The researchers managed to locate around 54 lakes through satellite pictures of the region and said that these are not extensive in size and are clustered around margins of ice sheet and seem stable. Several lakes in the Antarctica region have been subjected to scientific drilling to look for nature of sediments and understand environmental conditions. Details of the research study about Greenland’s sub-glacial lakes have been published scientific journal Nature Communications.

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