Scientist are trying to find how big the canyon is using airborne radio-echo sounding measurements
(Mirror Daily, United States) – We know our planet still keeps many secrets from us but who would have thought that Antarctic ice might hide the world’s largest canyon.
There are many wonders in the world and most of them are natural. Nature always surprises us with all sorts of relief formations which seem out of this world, not to mention plants and rare animals. But many of these wonders are still hidden waiting for us to uncover them. One of these wonders is a huge canyon, supposedly located beneath Antarctic ice.
It is believed that the canyon is more than 1,000 km long and up to 1 km deep which is about the same as the Grand Canyon in our country, except it is much longer. However, these are still supposition as scientists still need to confirm by making measurements. The reason why it wasn’t discovered before is that the region in which it is found in, Princess Elizabeth Land in East Antarctica is one of the unexplored regions on Earth.
Although the naked eye has trouble perceiving the under-ice canyon, traces of it can be identified at the surface of the ice using satellites and radio waves which were sent through the ice in order to create a map of the rock beneath. The large rock formation spreads from the Princess Elizabeth Land to the coast of Vestfold Hills and West Ice Shelf.
Scientists believe there could be a connection between the canyon and a glacial lake as big as 1250 km. An airborne study takes radio-echo sound measurements at the moment and it is hoped that we will be able to know for sure how the canyon looks.
Hopefully, we will also find out how it was formed as there is still some ambiguity on the matter. The canyon is either so ancient that was formed before the ice, or it was formed due to the ice and water that eroded the rock formation.
But how did scientists know the canyon was there before they took radio-echo sound measurements? It was because of the way water is flowing in that area which led them to believe under the thick ice sheet must be some sort of gigantic rock structure to support the ice and water.
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