General, Research, Technology

An ancient lake was found under the ice of Greenland

The face of our planet is constantly changing and sometimelong ago its surface looked completely different from what it is now. For example, thousands of years ago, Greenland, which is considered the largest island on Earth, was not covered with a thick layer of ice and snow. This is evidenced by the remains of pollen and other ancient materials, which are now and then found by scientists in the vicinity of the island. Therefore, it is not surprising that under the ice of Greenland, researchers constantly discover either ancient rivers or whole lakes. Recently, American scientists managed to find a lake there, which once covered an area of ​​about 7,100 square kilometers... There is no more water in the lake, but in essence it is a "time capsule" that can tell both the past and the future of our planet.

Icebreaker off the coast of Greenland

Hidden lake under Greenland

About the discovery of an ancient lake under the iceGreenland was reported in the scientific publication ScienceAlert. This was done as part of the NASA IceBridge scientific mission. Within its framework, researchers are studying the icy areas of the Earth using ICESat satellites. They send radio waves towards the Earth, which are reflected in different ways depending on the properties of the surface. Thanks to this technology, scientists have discovered under the ice of Greenland a layer of loose rock up to 1.2 kilometers thick... They quickly realized that, most likely, they were dealing with the bottom of an ancient lake, the depth of which is about 250 meters.

ICESat satellite operation

The ancient lake was named the poolCamp Century, because the research base of the same name is located nearby. Near the huge lake, scientists also discovered a network of about 18 rivers that once filled it with water. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine the exact age of the found lake. The fact is that the area of ​​ice on the territory of Greenland changed very often, it covered almost the entire territory, then it almost completely disappeared. The lake can be hundreds of thousands or millions of years old.

The boundaries of the ancient lake are shown in red, and rivers that once flowed into it are shown in blue

Read also: More than 50 new lakes found under the ice of Greenland

What is hidden under the ice?

Be that as it may, at the moment scientistswe are sure that there are many interesting things under the thick layer of ice. The fact that at certain points in the history of the Earth the largest island was completely deprived of the ice cover suggests that it once had plants and some species of animals. Greenland is a kind of "time capsule", opening which you can learn about animals and plants unknown to science. You can also find out how the planet's climate has changed over time and based on this data, make forecasts for the future.

Melt water on the surface of Greenland

Only now can one overcome a thick layer of iceto be very difficult. The fact is that the ancient lake is located about 1.8 kilometers under the ice. It is very difficult to drill such a hole, but that does not mean that it is impossible. At the beginning of 2019, I already talked about the fact that one of the teams of scientists managed to drill a kilometer-long hole in the ice of Antarctica and reach the “lost” lake. In it, they found the remains of ancient animals, as well as tendrils of plants and fungi. And the deepest hole in the Earth is in the Murmansk region. We are talking about the Kola superdeep well with a depth of more than 12 kilometers. So scientists can definitely make a 1.8 kilometer hole in the ice.

Kola Superdeep Borehole Cover

It is important to note that as part of the scientific missionIceBridge scientists discover under the ice not only rivers and lakes. In November 2018, a huge crater with a diameter of 31 kilometers was found on the territory of the Greenland glacier Hiawatha. And then, not far from it, a crater with a diameter of 36.5 kilometers was found. According to the researchers, both craters were formed as a result of meteorites falling to Earth. Throughout history, about 200 impact craters have formed on our planet, and some of them are hidden under the ice. So scientists have not yet fully studied the Earth, although in comparison with other planets it is very small.

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And about how Greenland looked without iceshield, the author of Daria Eletskaya recently told. You can read about it in this material. Perhaps someday it will be covered with vegetation again, because the air temperature on our planet is gradually increasing. It seems that the coming global warming will radically change our lives.

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