Hidden within the heart of Antarctica are lakes that were formed as ice melts. These hidden Antarctica lakes have been covered by millions of tons of ice over eons. And within them, scientists have discovered a whole network of interconnected lakes. They have been filling and then draining actively with time under the fragile ice sheets of Antarctica.
The outwardly calm and serenity hides a weakening foundation that is slowly disintegrating under its weight. The twin attacks of climate change and global warming are affecting them more than any other region on earth and are raising temperatures at the poles at an alarming rate.
Hidden Antarctica Lakes Draining Into The Oceans
This has led to a vast network of underground hidden Antarctica lakes that are slowly moving towards the ocean and draining into it. Satellite laser images have newly pinpointed a couple of active sub-glacial lakes. NASA has mapped lake systems concealed beneath the ice sheets of the western part of Antarctica.
The study, published in the Geophysical Research Letters has revealed the presence of over 130 lakes that are active through its development remains a mystery in the unpredictable dynamics of future ice sheets.
The presence of subglacial hidden Antarctica lakes was known but there was little in-depth knowledge about them. But the efforts of glaciologist Helen Amanda Fricker at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to unravel the mysteries hidden inside have yielded results.
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The linked hydrological systems and their impact on glaciology, oceanography, and microbiology have been a big leap in the knowledge of the Antarctic. The formation, increase and decrease in the level, and the functioning of the subglacial hidden Antarctica lakes are dependent on various factors. This includes the weight of the massive mass of ice above, the resulting friction, and the heat of the Earth’s core. The thick mixture of water and ice slowly moves away from the core of the continent in an outward direction. It picks up speed as it nears the ocean.
The movement and the resultant melting are being hastened by the global increase in temperatures. This will increase the level of the seas.