It appears our well-travelled earth still has a few surprises left to give us. A research team has announced it has found a massive canyon, buried under a thick sheet of ice in Greenland
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Researchers announced the findings yesterday in the journal Science. The canyon is at least 750 kilometers long and as deep at 800 meter in paces. It is drawing comparisons to the Grand Canyon.
Scientists think the canyon is much older than the thick sheet of ice hiding it: the ice sheet itself is estimated to be only a few million years old.
Many of the researchers are in awe that such a huge discovery can still be made on a planet so well travelled.
“With Google Streetview available for many cities around the world and digital maps for everything from population density to happiness one might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped. Our research shows there’s still a lot left to discover,” – Jonathan Bamber, Lead Author
The canyon still can’t be seen on the surface level. After measuring decades of radar data, and analyzing the bounce back of radio waves, scientists determined the canyon that lay underneath the ice cover.
The data from the radar suggests that the canyon acted as a funnel, moving water that melted from the interior of Greenland’s ice sheet, to its coastline.
“A discovery of this nature shows that the Earth has not yet given up all its secrets. A 750-kilometer canyon preserved under the ice for millions of years is a breathtaking find in itself, but this research is also important in furthering our understanding of Greenland’s past. This area’s ice sheet contributes to sea level rise and this work can help us put current changes in context,” – David Vaughan, ice2sea coordinator, British Antarctic Survey