Scientists have discovered a massive amount of water hidden deep below the ice sheet that covers Antarctica. It’s a groundwater system found in deep sediments in West Antarctica, likely to be the consistency of a wet sponge. It reveals an unexplored part of the region and could have implications for how the frozen continent reacts to climate change.
Lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher at the University of California San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography explained “People have hypothesized that there could be deep groundwater in these sediments, but up to now, no one has done any detailed imaging,”
She added “Antarctica contains 57 metres (187 feet) of sea level rise potential, so we want to make sure we are incorporating all of the processes that control how ice flows off of the continent and into the oceans. Groundwater is currently a missing process in our models of ice flow,”
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