Australia discovers a network of lakes beneath Totten glacier in East Antarctica

Published: March 28, 2019

The researchers from Australian Antarctic Program have discovered a network of lakes lying under the ice during their 160-day expedition to the Totten Glacier, the largest in eastern Antarctica. The lakes were detected by scientists setting off small explosives 2m below the surface of the Totten glacier and listening to the reflected sound. They are discovered by using seismic studies, which were conducted to find out if there is bedrock or water, as sub-glacial lakes or ocean, under the ice. The study has shown that there are substantial amount of water found in these lakes could impact the predicted rise of the sea level. Thus, this research may help scientists predicting how melting of Antarctic glaciers would change the world’s oceans polar ice will change the world’s oceans in the future. The Totten glacier is 30km wide and up to 2km thick, and has the potential to raise sea levels by 7m. The seismic study involved setting off a series of small explosions at about 2m below the surface of the glacier.

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