Scientists Identified 3 Hidden Lakes Under The Antarctic Glacier, one of them Lake Vostok.
Researchers have discovered a sudden drainage of large pools beneath the west of Antarctica’s glacier, Thwaites with the assistance of the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite. According to the research, the glacier is already on the list of planet’s fastest-moving glaciers- it is continuously flowing into the ocean on its side due to warmer seawater swishing at its underside.
The Thwaites glacier is the fastest flowing glaciers to the nearby Pine Island Bay that is a part of Amundsen Sea. There were swamp-like canals and streams that are found underlying the glacier in the past years. The streams that hold back the glacier flow is feed by the canals with dry areas. Due to the friction created, the glacier get stable but though for a small time.
The large and enormous West Antarctic glacier has been a matter to worry about, for the scientists for decades now. One reason, Global Warming, is causing massive glaciers to melt drop by drop and settling into the nearby seas. If the ice sheet vanishes in a period of time, the sea levels could rise by as high as 12 feet. That can flood about 28,800 square miles of coastal land in the US itself. Since decades, West Antarctic’s glaciers have been named “unstable,” “unstoppable,” and the area’s “weak underbelly” by the researchers who identified their unique state and immense potential for creating a catastrophe.
There are four interconnected lakes that got drained during the period of eight months’ time from June 2013 and January 2014. During that time the glacier hustled up by 10 percent approximately showing that the glacier’s life is fairly falling by drops at its underside, as reported by the top researchers from the UK’s University and the University of Washington.
A correspondent author Ben Smith who is a glaciologist with the UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory thinks that this is a big event and that it confirms that the long lasting speed that is getting observed for this glacier, Thwaites, is probably driven by some other factors as well, most likely in the ocean. He thinks that probably the water flow at the surface is not controlling the speed.
The Thwaites and pine Island glaciers are of utmost concern as they possess the power or aptitude to destabilize the whole of the ice sheet by setting off a series of different events taking place.
This time the authors used a different method to find out the actual drops at the glacier’s surface of up to 70 feet that was over a 20 km by 40 km area. The results showed that it was precisely due to the evacuating four interconnected lakes beneath it. The peak rate of the drainage was about 240 cubic meters per second which are the largest melt- water outflow that has been reported for sub glacial lakes in that specific place.
UW research shows that the Thwaites glacier will most probably be collapsing within 200 to 900 years that will ultimately raise the sea levels by 2 feet.