Mega-Canyon Discovered Beneath Greenland’s Ice Sheet
Researchers have discovered a mega-canyon lurking below Greenland’s giant ice sheet — a snaking canyon at least 450 miles long that’s been a crucial drainage corridor since before ice covered the island more than 3.5 million years ago.
The canyon is up to 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep, and its scale in width and length rivals parts of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. It starts beneath the ice in central Greenland and winds its way north to drain into the Arctic Ocean, according to new research from scientists at the University of Bristol, as well as researchers from Canada and Italy. The finding helps explain why Greenland doesn’t have pools of water under its ice sheet like Antarctica does: The canyon may be helping divert meltwater and thus keeping Greenland’s ice sheet stable.
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