Antarctica (CNN)(12/16/19)— A new study has shown that the deepest point on land is under the Denman Glacier in eastern Antarctica.
According to glaciologists at the University of California, Irvine, the trough is about two miles below sea level, but with no ocean water to speak of.
Instead, the trough is filled with ice flowing from the interior of the ice sheet towards the coast, measuring about 100 kilometers long and 20 kilometers wide.
A new technology dubbed “BedMachine”, which combines radar measurements with high precision surface motion data from satellites and snow accumulation from regional climate models, allowed the team to get a good estimate of the bed where it had not been previously measured.
By applying this new mapping technique to the entire ice sheet, they discovered this very deep valley hidden underneath it.
According to Dr. Mathieu Morlighem, an associate professor in the Department of Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine, and leader of this project, one of the biggest challenges his team has faced is gathering and comparing all the available data, since all the radar surveys have been done by different institutions from different countries.
Morlighem went on to state that they are now monitoring this glacier very carefully, as climate change could be impacting the region soon.