Two satellites (ICESat and RADARSAT0) have helped the researchers to spot the lakes and ice moving above them. Four new large under ice lakes at the start of massive ice stream in East Antarctica have been found. Ice is continually sliding off Antarctica and into the sea. The researchers have found that the ice breaks up and becomes a rapidly moving ice stream.
The new study is the first to show a direct link between Antarctica’s under-ice lakes and the movement of the ice streams.
The Recovery Glacier ice stream is focused in the new study which is one of the world’s largest streams. It is 175 miles (280 kilometers) wide at its start and snakes its way more than 400 miles (600 kilometers) to the sea. The ice sheet in the Recovery area generally flows toward the ocean at a rate of about 15 to 30 feet (5 to 10 meters) a year.
More than 140 under ice lakes have been discovered in Antarctica, but these newfound lakes are the first known in the Eastern region and are among the biggest in all of Antarctica.
It is being said that he sub glacial lakes formation will lead to accelerated rates of sea level rise.
Source: National Geographic News