Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Scientists discover enormous canyon under the Greenland Ice Sheet

The Greenland ice sheet still holds plenty of mysteries for investigating scientists. Photo: Jessica Scheick

The Greenland ice sheet still holds plenty of mysteries for investigating scientists. Photo: Jessica Scheick

In this age of Google street view, it seems there are few places that still hold mysteries. But scientists led by a team from from the University of Bristol have discovered a canyon on par with Arizona’s Grand Canyon at least two kilometers beneath the ice sheet. The finding was reported in late August in the Journal Science.

The scientists belive the canyon predates the Greenland ice sheet.

In addition to being a simply remarkable discovery, the canyon also plays an important role in transporting sub-glacial meltwater (at the bedrock level) from the interior to the edge of the ice sheet and into the ocean.

To read more about this fascinating study, check out this story on  environmental research web.

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