News / Science & Technology

Mega Canyon Discovered in Greenland

A massive canyon has been discovered beneath the Greenland ice.
A massive canyon has been discovered beneath the Greenland ice.

Related Articles

Massive Volcano Erupts on Jupiter's Moon, Io

The eruption was bigger than any ever recorded on Earth

Evidence Found of Water Deep Below Lunar Surface

The findings represent the first detection of water from lunar orbit

Video Titan's Surface More Rigid Than Thought, Says Study

Saturn's moon is of great interest because of its thick atmosphere and possible liquid ocean
VOA News
Scientists have discovered a massive canyon hidden almost two kilometers under Greenland’s ice cap.

The canyon is at least 750 kilometers long and, according to the U.S. space agency, NASA, has the characteristics of a winding river channel. In some places the canyon is 800 meters deep, which is on a similar scale as the Grand Canyon.

NASA says the canyon was made before the ice formed over much of Greenland.

"One might assume that the landscape of the Earth has been fully explored and mapped," said Jonathan Bamber, professor of physical geography at the University of Bristol in Britain and lead author of the study. "Our research shows there's still a lot left to discover."

Using radar data collected over decades, NASA and researchers from Britain and Germany were able to piece together the landscape of the canyon. A large portion of this data was collected from 2009 through 2012 by NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne science program studying polar ice.

One instrument in particular, the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder, can see through massive amounts of ice to the bedrock below. The canyon appears to extend from almost the center of the island and ends beneath the Petermann Glacier fjord in northern Greenland.

Researchers think that before Greenland was covered in ice - some 4 million years ago - water flowed through the canyon as part of a massive river system. Now, researchers say the canyon “plays an important role in transporting sub-glacial melt water from the interior of Greenland to the edge of the ice sheet into the ocean.”

"It is quite remarkable that a channel the size of the Grand Canyon is discovered in the 21st century below the Greenland ice sheet," said Michael Studinger, IceBridge project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It shows how little we still know about the bedrock below large continental ice sheets."

Bamber's team published its findings Thursday in the journal Science.


Here's a video about Greenland's mega canyon:

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid