Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon

Jan 15 2014, 8:23am CST | by

Massive Hole Discovered Under Antarctica, Bigger Than The Grand Canyon

A giant valley deeper than the Grand Canyon is buried beneath several miles of glacial ice in West Antarctica, according to a new study by British scientists.

The sub-glacial canyon is nearly two miles deep, 200 miles long and 15 miles wide.

“The discovery of this huge trough, and the characterization of the surrounding mountainous landscape, was incredibly serendipitous,” said Dr. Neil Ross, a professor of geology at Newcastle University and the study’s lead author.

The study appears in the latest edition of the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

Ross and a team of other scientists from the University of Bristol’s Glaciology Centre, the British Antarctic Survey and the universities of Edinburgh, Exeter, and York spent three seasons mapping an ancient sub-glacial mountain range known as the Ellsworth Sub-glacial Highlands.

The mapping combined data collected by ice-penetrating radars towed behind snowmobiles and on-board small aircraft with satellite data.

“We had acquired ice penetrating radar data from both ends of this huge hidden valley, but we had no information to tell us what was in between,” said Ross. “Satellite data was used to fill the gap, because despite being covered beneath several kilometers of ice, the valley is so vast that it can be seen from space.”

The valley was formed millions of years ago by a small ice field similar to those of the present-day Antarctic Peninsula.

Ross eloquently summarized the implications of this research, stating: “To me, this just goes to demonstrate how little we still know about the surface of our own planet.”

You can say that again.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

One-third of Libyans suffer mental health problems: Report
Tripoli, Nov 26 (IANS) Human rights violations in Libya have left nearly a third of the population suffering from mental health problems, according to a new report.
 
 
1.7 kg of drugs found in Iranian's stomach
Tehran, Nov 26 (IANS) Narcotics weighing 1.7 kg have been found in the stomach of a 20-year-old man in Iran's northeastern Khorasan Razavi province, police said.
 
 
Bangladesh pushes for working South Asian free trade deal
Kathmandu, Nov 26 (IANS) Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wednesday called for implementing the free trade agreement (FTA) that the Saarc nations signed nearly a decade ago.
 
 
NASA floats airship challenge idea
Washington, Nov 26 (IANS) The US space agency NASA is planning to kickstart a challenge for developing airships that can break records in terms of duration of flight at high altitudes.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

86 protesters arrested in Hong Kong
Hong Kong, Nov 26 (IANS/EFE) At least 86 people were arrested and over a dozen injured in Hong Kong Wednesday in clashes between the police and pro-democracy protesters during the clearing of a protest site in Mong Kok...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Mexico plans policy changes to stem violence, graft
Mexico City, Nov 26 (IANS/EFE) The Mexican government plans to rework its internal security policy to check the violence and corruption that prevails after 43 students in police custody went missing, outraging the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
NASA floats airship challenge idea
Washington, Nov 26 (IANS) The US space agency NASA is planning to kickstart a challenge for developing airships that can break records in terms of duration of flight at high altitudes. The idea behind the "20-20-20...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Benedict Cumberbatch disappointed to miss McGrath
Benedict Cumberbatch says it was a ''tragedy'' to not record 'Penguins of Madagascar' with Tom McGrath. The 38-year-old actor couldn't work opposite his co-star Tom due to their conflicting schedules, which forced them...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Ridley Scott won't direct Blade Runner sequel
Ridley Scott won't be directing the 'Blade Runner' sequel. The 76-year-old director - who helmed the original sci-fi thriller in 1982 - has confessed he will not be returning to the director's chair for the follow up...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
OPEC daily basket price closes lower
Vienna, Nov 26 (IANS/WAM) The basket of 12 crude oils of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) closed over a dollar lower at $74.28 a barrel Tuesday compared to $75.70 Monday, the OPEC Secretariat...
Read more on Business Balla
 
Two JMB activists awarded death sentence in Bangladesh
Dhaka, Nov 26 (IANS) A court in Dhaka sentenced two activists of the militant Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to death Wednesday, for shooting dead a police informant during a search operation nearly eight years...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Tough competition in 2015 Copa America: Uruguay FA president
Montevideo, Nov 26 (IANS) The 2015 Copa America championship, to be held in Chile next summer, is gearing up to be a tough tournament to win, Uruguay's top football official has said. According to the president of the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Bayern dominated despite being down to 10: Guardiola
Manchester, Nov 26 (IANS) Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said that his team dominated the game despite being down to 10 in the Champions League match against England's Manchester City. "Even though we lost, I am...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
We made mistakes: Bayern's Dante
Manchester, Nov 26 (IANS) Bayern Munich defender Dante believes that Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero is a great player but Bayern should blame the Champions League loss on themselves. Bayern lost 2-3 to...
Read more on Sport Balla