A huge lake in East Antarctica suddenly disappeared. The report came from a team of international, Australian and American researchers, who published the study in Geophysical Research Letters. The basin left only one ice cap fractured and a depression of about 11 square kilometers. To notice the disappearance were the satellite images between winter 2019 and the following summer. It is estimated that the lake contained more water than Sydney Harbor.
The disappearance of the Antarctic lake
Dr. Roland Warner of theAustralian Antarctic Program Association The University of Tasmania team said the event may have been caused by a process known as “hydrofracturing“.” We believe that a large rift – Warner said – has opened in the floating ice shelf and has drained the entire lake. in the ocean in three days. “Hydro-fracturing occurs when liquid water, which is denser than ice, exerts pressure on the cracks in the platforms. ice to open them to the ocean below.
The antarctic lake drainage it left a deep, irregular depression in the surface that covered about eleven square kilometers. This impressive structure, known as “Valley“of ice, it contains the fractured remains of the thick layer of ice that had covered the lake. The event was also captured by a laser instrument in theNASA ICESat-2. Study co-author Professor Helen Fricker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a member of the ICESat-2 Science Team, said it was a great demonstration of the capabilities of the satelite.
It is estimated that they were lost in the ocean between the 600 and 750 million cubic meters of water. Professor Warner said the event raises new questions about how common these are lakes covered in ice and how they evolve. The team of researchers also argued that it cannot be concluded that the person responsible for the disappearance of the lake is the climate change, but that in any case the study of the formation of these Antarctic basins can be fundamental to understand the geological evolution of the Earth.
Meanwhile, after several other searches, National Geographic has included a fifth ocean, Antarctica, which would be born recently.