What lies beneath

280117 antarctica 1
NASA / Michael Studinger

These West Antarctica glaciers were snapped during an October 2014 NASA Operation IceBridge mission.

University of California, Irvine glaciologists uncovered large oceanic valleys beneath some of the massive glaciers flowing into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica. Carved by earlier advances of ice during colder periods, the subsurface troughs enable warm, salty water to reach the undersides of glaciers, fuelling their increasingly rapid retreat.

The work was published in Geophysical Research Letters.

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