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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid