The largest canyon in the world might have been found in the Antarctic. A team of researchers from the Durham University are the ones that claim to have found it, using data from satellites and a ground penetrating radar.
The canyon situated in the East Antarctic is estimated to be 1000 km long and 1km deep in some places. One of the biggest canyons in the world is the Grand Canyon situated in Arizona is 446 km long and 1.6 km deep in some places. The researchers will have to go there and make measurements in order to see if their information is accurate, but that will prove to be difficult, if not impossible. The so called canyon is currently buried under an ice sheet that is several kilometers deep.
The researchers have two theories when it comes to the development of the canyon. One theory suggests that the canyon is extremely old and it was on the Earth before Antarctica was moved to the South Pole by the movements of the tectonic plaques and then because of the low temperatures, it froze. The other theory says that the canyon was carved by the water that is flowing under the ice sheet and this one is the most probable explanation. Also, the team of researchers believes that the canyon is connected with other canyons from the region and that together they feed a 1250 km² subglacial lake.
According to the lead researcher of the study, Doctor Stewart Jamieson, from the Durham University’s Geography Department, even though that are of the world is larger than the United Kingdom, very little information is known about what lies underneath the ice sheet. Strangely enough, there is more information on the surface of Mars than on Antarctica’s bed. He also said that if more information will be collected on the buried landscape, the better will the scientists be prepared to understand how exactly will the ice sheet respond to the climate changes. The team plans to continue their research on the recent discovered canyon and they are expected to come with more information and the exact sice of the canyon until the end of 2017.
The team of researchers led by Dr. Stewart Jamieson by Dr. Neil Ross claim that the largest canyon in the world might have been found.
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