NASA discovers proof of geothermal heat origin under West Antarctica

A recent NASA study has revealed evidence that a geothermal heat origin called a mantle plume lies embedded in Antarctica’s Marie Byrd Land, elucidating some melted parts generate lakes and rivers under the sheet of ice. While the heat origin isn’t a novel or rising menace to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may assist in elucidating why the ice sheet disintegrated swiftly in a previous eon of rapid climate change and why is it so unreliable today.

The solidity of an ice sheet is meticulously related to how much water makes it slippery from below permitting glaciers slide effortlessly. Comprehending the origins and future of the melt water under West Antarctica is vital for appraising the rate at which the ice will be lost to water. Antarctica’s base is intertwined rivers and lakes, largest of which is Lake Erie.

Various lakes saturate and drain swiftly, shoving the ice to appear thousands of feet above them to rise and fall by as much as 20 feet (6 meters). The movement permits researchers to evaluate where and how much water must prevail at the base. Around 30 years prior a scientist at the University of Colorado Denver proposed that warmth from mantle plume under Marie Byrd Land might elucidate topographical volcanic activity and a topographic dome feature. A current seismic imaging has braced this concept.

When Hélène Seroussi of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, first heard the idea she said that she thought it was a crazy idea. How could the amount of heat and ice top co exist?

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