GREENLAND — In recent years, scientists have used advanced technologies like airborne radar to see how Greenland looks under its three-kilometer deep ice sheet. They found that the world’s largest island is hiding quite a few fascinating surprises. Here are the details:
Live Science reports that recent scientific studies have found a number of fascinating phenomena hidden under the three-kilometer deep ice sheet that covers Greenland.
One of these hidden phenomena is a huge canyon that’s almost as big as the Grand Canyon. Stretching for 740 kilometers, this hidden canyon is up to 10 kilometers wide and up to 800 meters deep in places.
Another study found a massive plain in the middle of Greenland that lies below sea level. This strange depression is probably caused by the weight of the ice sheet, and it’s surrounded by a ring of hidden mountain ranges.
Scientists were also thrilled to find evidence of a huge, ancient lakebed that is now filled with a treasure trove of sample-containing sediment that scientists would love to access one day.
Researchers also found evidence of at least 60 small lakes deep below the ice. These are filled with crystal-clear water that melted off the ice above.
Scientists also found data pointing to at least two large meteor craters under the ice. And when an old ice-core sample was studied more closely, scientists found fossils of plants that lived a million years ago.
This old ice-core sample was re-discovered in a freezer in 2017, long after it was originally drilled out of the ice in 1966 when the U.S. attempted to build a nuclear missile base in Greenland during the Cold War.
Live Science reporter Stephanie Pappas writes that this Cold War ice-core sample “came from northwestern Greenland, and the plants held within may have grown in a boreal forest. Such a forest could only grow in largely ice-free conditions, suggesting that parts of Greenland’s ice sheet may be younger than researchers previously believed.”
SOURCES: Live Science, The Conversation