Research has found that much of the groundwater is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice sheet

Research has found that much of the groundwater is hidden beneath the Antarctic ice sheet

[The Epoch Times, May 9, 2022](Reported by The Epoch Times Reporter Zhang Ni) New research finds,AntarcticaDebris beneath the ice sheets is abundantGroundwater. Researchers believe this could be a major factor in the speed at which Antarctic ice sheets move like “water slides”.

This study assumes thatAntarcticaThese may affect the direction of a large number of avalanchesGroundwaterSystem control. The study determined what was happening in the foothills below western Antarctica, but researchers believe this is true of many other parts of Antarctica as well as underground debris.

An ice stream is a relatively fast moving ice structure. Ice streams in Antarctica can move up to 6 feet a day. Scientists have found that 90% of ice loss from the Antarctic continent is in the form of ice streams.

They chose the west as the Villains Ice Stream research object in Antarctica because the current information about the area is relatively rich, and another member of the Cooperative Group discovered in 2007 through satellite data that there appears to be a lake beneath it. Region .. This information aroused the interest of researchers.

Previous studies had limited ice to shallow drilling to obtain samples for analysis, but Gustafson decided to use a technique with a team.Magnetotelluric(Magnetotellurics) New method of investigation. “Magnetotelluricus is like taking the Earth’s MRI (nuclear magnetic resonance) scan,” Gustafsson said.

In 2018, the exploration of the four finally began. This is a very dangerous journey, and if there is any danger, it is difficult to wait for rescue. Before entering the deceptive wild atmosphere, they settled for two weeks at an American research center on Rose Island in Antarctica. Gustafsson told Gizmodo, a tech blog site, “Thousands of people live there during the peak season of the year. It’s like a small town with famous restaurants, hotels, a gym and two bars.”

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Over the past two weeks, in addition to packing tents, sleeping bags, and food, they learned from a climber how to build makeshift shelters in the snow, run slides, and set up tents, as well as other survival skills. Eventually they reached their destination, the Villains Ice Stream on the western Antarctic ice sheet.

There they selected eight locations and buried the electromagnetic signal receivers one foot below the snow. After 24 hours, they were taken out and moved to a location several kilometers away and then buried to continue receiving signals, thus for six weeks.

Analyzing the collected signals, they found that the debris beneath the Villains ice stream contained a lot of water. This is the marine remnant that existed when Antarctica was an open ocean millions of years ago. The analysis reveals that it was deposited at a depth of half a kilometer to 2 km.GlaciersAfter the water has melted, the water in the bottom residue begins to contain salt, and the deeper the water, the more salt there is.

They speculate that the salt in the groundwater may have been reduced by the accumulation of these ancient remains. Later, as the upper ice sheet thickens, the salts in the freshly frozen seawater are pushed under the ice and into these debris, dissolving in the groundwater. But sometimes the icebergs melt and the seawater fills up again. Of course, all of this is just speculation right now.

Gustafson said groundwater would have a significant impact on Antarctica’s glaciers. “Let’s just say it’s like these icebergs are climbing on a water slide. There’s water in the debris below.

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The research team believes that this finding has significant implications for the geographical structure of other parts of the Antarctic continent. Elsewhere on the continent, Gustafson said, there may be thicker layers of debris enriched by groundwater – many of these structures in the subsurface. They also affect the ice streams that lie above them.

The study was published in the May 5 issue of the journal Science. ◇ #

Responsible Editor: Ye Ziwei

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