The ocean is in danger: the Antarctic subglacial lake spilled




The ocean is in danger: the Antarctic subglacial lake spilled

Antarctic Sea Ice

Under the ice sheet of Antarctica is a network of lakes formed by the melting of glaciers. Between 2007 and 2008, one of these lakes burst their banks, throwing into the ocean about 6 billion tons of water. Approximately U.S. consume as much water in two days. It is the largest in the history of recorded flood on the continent, writes a popular science online magazine Discovery.

The study was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Cook Lake is located at a distance of 2700 meters from the edge of the ice in the eastern part of the continent. It is one of 379 subglacial lakes in Antarctica. The largest is Lake Vostok .

Researchers have learned of the existence of these lakes when they noticed the vertical displacement of the ice sheet of Antarctica. Remote sensing and modeling have shown that the ice was broken after filling lakes glacial melt water. Sometimes they were overflowing and the water flowed into the ocean.

In the period between 2006 and 2008 was seen dramatic subsidence of ice on the lake Cook. In two years, the ice sank more than 20 meters, forming a deep hole. Scientists have speculated that the reason for this was the spill under the ice of the lake.

To measure the geometrical dimensions of the crater ice used data obtained from satellites. Scientists have suggested that the volume of the crater is the amount of water introduced from the lake to the ocean.

According to calculations, the lake has lost about 1.2-1.7 trillion gallons of water (4,5-6,4 trillion liters). Such a massive flood caused a torrent of water into the ocean with an approximate rate of 159 liters per second. At about the same rate flowing Colorado River (USA).

Do you want to learn how to actually look Antarctica? Then you are here .

According to forecasts of scientists, in the XXI century, the catastrophic floods may become more frequent in ten times .
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