New data has led experts to wonder about the origin of the East Antarctic ice sheet.
In the framework of the international project was composed of detailed maps that are under water subglacial mountains, Antarctica, which are more than 50 years ago, the researchers found.
However, the size and shape of these formations, until recently, remained unknown. To identify the mountains were able, thanks to sophisticated geophysical equipment – radars, sensors of magnetic and gravitational fields.
As it turned out, the Antarctic mountain range stretches for 800 kilometers in length and 400 in width. It includes peaks rising to 3 thousand meters above sea level, and some of the valley buried 1 kilometer below this level. Scientists can not explain such a significant difference in height, as studied mountains located in the centre of the Precambrian craton, which is characterized by very low seismic activity.
The developed relief of the subglacial mountains under water indicates that the layer of ice has formed in a relatively short time, however, the mechanism of this process, the scientists also not yet clear. Another surprise encountered by scientists, is that in 3 kilometers under the ice were unfrozen water. Moreover, it was found that the temperature there is considerably higher than on the surface.
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