Monday, December 23, 2013

Phenomenon of the size of Ireland: Huge water vein discovered in Greenland ice - NEWS

 Harsh reality:. Eisfjord in Greenland Harsh reality:. Eisfjord in Greenland (photo: picture alliance / dpa)

Monday 23 December 2013

So nobody expected: scientists encounter in research in Greenland on an enormously large water reservoir in the eternal ice. Special feature: The water does not freeze


In the southwest of Greenland geologists are surprising encountered large amounts of liquid water in the ice. The water is located at a depth between 5 and 50 meters and extends over an area of ??approximately 70,000 square kilometers – equivalent to the size of the Republic of Ireland. The water vein discovered could be important for calculations of ice and the rise of the Meerersspiegels, the scientists write to Richard Forster of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City in the journal “Nature Geoscience.”

melting glaciers of Greenland afford according to the researchers the largest contribution to global sea level rise. Actually, they wanted to measure with ice cores, how much snow per year added to the ice comes. Whereby they stumbled end of April 2011 at a temperature of minus 15 degrees Celsius to liquid water. Since the snowmelt begins in June, the geologists are sure that the water remains liquid throughout the year. Layers of re-frozen melt water and the snow cover in winter protected the water from freezing, they write.

volume previously unknown

radars on the ground and radar measurements of the U.S. space agency NASA, the group followed the water layer over a length of 873 kilometers. They then determined by computer simulation, the total area. However, neither the data nor the radar cores provided information about how high is the water vein. Therefore, researchers can not specify the total amount of water.

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The layer is located in the firn, which has not yet compacted glacial ice to crud. The firn layer can be 100 feet thick in Greenland, writes Joel Harper of the University of Montana in Missoula in a Kommentar.Die researchers to Forster found evidence that such a water artery arises only where large amounts of snow fall in the year and in Summer is much meltwater. This is mainly still in three other areas in the south and southwest of Greenland the case.

What role does the water layer for the rise in sea games, is unknown, says Forster. Maybe they save meltwater and slow down the drain into the ocean. The water could also form a lubricating film of accelerating the flow of the ice and calving glaciers.


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