Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




ICE WORLD
CryoSat maps largest-ever flood beneath Antarctica
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Jul 03, 2013


Location of the crater in Victoria Land, East Antarctica at about 73+ S and 156+ E. The colour scale shows height derived from CryoSat data. The crater is located within the white box. Copyright ESA/M. McMillan.

ESA's CryoSat satellite has found a vast crater in Antarctica's icy surface. Scientists believe the crater was left behind when a lake lying under about 3 km of ice suddenly drained. Far below the thick ice sheet that covers Antarctica, there are lakes of fresh water without a direct connection to the ocean.

These lakes are of great interest to scientists who are trying to understand water transport and ice dynamics beneath the frozen Antarctic surface - but this information is not easy to obtain.

One method is to drill holes through kilometres of ice to the water - a difficult endeavour in the harsh conditions of the polar regions.

But instead of looking down towards the ice, a team of European scientists is looking to the sky to improve our understanding of subglacial water and its transport.

By combining new measurements acquired by CryoSat with older data from NASA's ICESat satellite, the team has mapped the large crater left behind by a lake, and even determined the scale of the flood that formed it.

From 2007 to 2008, six cubic kilometres of water - about the same amount that is stored in Scotland's Loch Ness - drained from the lake, making it the largest event of its kind ever recorded.

That amount of water equals a tenth of the melting that occurs beneath Antarctica each year.

Since the end of 2008, the lake appears to be refilling but six times slower than it drained. It could take decades to reform.

The study, published recently in Geophysical Research Letters, highlights CryoSat's unique capacity to map changes in Antarctica's subglacial lakes in 3D, and sheds new light on events at the base of the ice sheet.

CryoSat carries a radar altimeter that can 'see' through clouds and in the dark, providing continuous measurements over areas like Antarctica that are prone to bad weather and long periods of darkness.

The radar can measure both the area and depth of ice craters in high resolution, allowing scientists to calculate its volume accurately.

"Thanks to CryoSat, we can now see fine details that were not apparent in older satellite data records," said Dr Malcolm McMillan from the UK's University of Leeds and lead author of the study 'Three-dimensional mapping by CryoSat-2 of subglacial lake volume changes'.

With every subglacial lake, there is hope of finding prehistoric marine life. The rapid draining and apparent refilling of this lake, however, suggests this was not the first time water has drained from the lake.

"It seems likely that the flood water - and any microbes or sediments it contained - has been flushed into the Southern Ocean, making it difficult to imagine that life in this particular lake has evolved in isolation," said Prof. Andrew Shepherd, a co-author of the study.

About 400 lakes have been discovered at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet. When they drain, they disrupt subglacial habitats and can cause the ice above to slide more quickly into the sea.

.


Related Links
CryoSat
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss
Irvine CA (SPX) Jun 19, 2013
Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves, not icebergs calving into the sea, are responsible for most of the continent's ice loss, a study by UC Irvine and others has found. The first comprehensive survey of all Antarctic ice shelves discovered that basal melt, or ice dissolving from underneath, accounted for 55 percent of shelf loss from 2003 to 2008 - a rate much high ... read more


ICE WORLD
NASA Seeks Information on Commercial Robotic Lunar Lander Capabilities

Orbiting astronaut controls robot on Earth, testing feasibility of CU-Boulder project on far side of the moon

Metamorphosis of Moon's Water Ice Explained

Scientists use gravity, topographic data to find unmapped moon craters

ICE WORLD
Opportunity's Improbable Anniversary

Dry run for the 2020 Mars Mission

Opportunity Clocks Up 37 Kilometers Of Roving Mars

Mars Rover Opportunity Trekking Toward More Layers

ICE WORLD
Voyager 1 Explores Final Frontier Of Our Solar Bubble

NASA's Voyager 1 approaches outer limit of solar system

PayPal launches quest for intergalactic currency

NASA Bill Would 'End Reliance on Russia,' Nix Asteroid Capture Project

ICE WORLD
China plans to launch Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015

Twilight for Tiangong

China calls for international cooperation in manned space program

Shenzhou 10 Returns Safely To Earth

ICE WORLD
Russian cosmonauts conduct space station tasks in spacewalk

Accelerating ISS Science With Upgraded Payload Operations Integration Center

Strange Flames on the ISS

Europe's space truck docks with ISS

ICE WORLD
Russian Proton M Rocket Explodes Just After Blast Off

Arianespace takes delivery of its next Ariane 5 at the Spaceport

SpaceX Will Launch Turkmenistan Satellite For Thales Alenia Space

New Mexico Space Grant Consortium student experiments blast into space from Spaceport America

ICE WORLD
UCSB Astronomer Uncovers The Hidden Identity Of An Exoplanet

Gas-Giant Exoplanets Cling Close to Their Parent Stars

Astronomers Detect Three 'Super-Earths' in Nearby Star's Habitable Zone

Three planets in habitable zone of nearby star

ICE WORLD
Making hydrogenation greener

Inmarsat's First Fully Assembled Global Xpress Satellite Achieves Significant Testing Milestone

The quantum secret to alcohol reactions in space

Study refutes claims world is running out of copper




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement