NASA finds 'mega canyon' under Greenland's ice sheet
Friday, August 30, 2013, 6:19 PM -
NASA scientists have discovered a large canyon hiding roughly 2 km beneath Greenland's ice sheet.
The canyon begins roughly in the centre of Greenland. It's complete with a winding river that's 750 km in length and its depth plunges to 800 metres in some places.
"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 a statement.
"Our research shows there's still a lot left to discover."
Scientists used data collected between 2009 and 2012 by NASA.
Researchers say that ice is melting into the canyon. The melt runs into a river that is believed to have been flowing an estimated 4 million years, creating significant runoff into the ocean, which scientists were previously unaware of.
"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 Studinger. "It shows how little we still know about the bedrock below large continental ice sheets."