Geology And Geophysics

Antarctic Ice Crater Develops after Flood



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"Antarctic Ice Crater Develops after Flood"
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The world has always been fascinated by exploring the unknown. Going back over history, explorers and conquerors alike traversed the globe, hoping to find new lands and untold riches. Fast forwarding to present day, most all of the world has now felt the footsteps of human beings on top of its soil. If there is an area that still hold mysteries to learn, it is probably the freezing region known as Antarctica.

The Arctic has fascinated both scientists and explorers for ages. With the perceived effects of global warming being examined, the Arctic region has become a hotspot of scientific research. Whether it be on the ground or using satellite technology, the Arctic is being examined in a variety of ways. All of this technology led to the discovery of an Antarctic ice crater which formed in the past decade.

According to a BBC article, the location of this ice crater is at the "Cook Sub-Glacial Lake (SGL) in the east of the continent, and the event itself occurred over a period of about 18 months in 2007-2008." Now this new found crater would lead some to wonder how a crater forms in an area known for kilometers deep ice. The answer might surprise some folks.

The crater emerged after a flood. That would seem to be a difficult thing to imagine taking place in Antarctica, but scientists believe that is the cause of the tremendous crater. The flood occurred under the ice, due to one of the more than 400 deeply buried lakes that exist below the ice. The amount of water in the lake exceeded its banks, causing the water to rush away. The above mentioned article indicated that water was flowing away from the Cook Sub-Glacial Lake at a rate of 160 cubic metres per second.

The natural question coming out of this is where did all that water go. After all, a lake of that size emptying just does not disappear under the carpet. Actually, scientists at this point cannot be definitive about where the water is. One school of thought has it dumping into the nearby ocean, causing water levels to rise. Others believe that it rushed towards the ocean, but eventually refroze underneath the ice, thus further enhancing the depth of the plate in certain areas.

Either way, it is a scary thought for people that share in the global warming doom scenario. One has to wonder what would happen if a 100 of those lakes overflowed at once, sending water rushing into the world's seas. The coastlines of numerous countries could be forever altered.

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