Antarctic video shows Earth’s deepest canyon
Despite the best efforts of scientists to examine the land with radar beneath Antarctica’s ice sheets, the sheer size and remoteness of the continent has left a lot of gaps in current surveys.
That changed with a new map, named BedMachine Antarctica, released here at an American Geophysical Union meeting and published in Nature Geoscience yesterday.

The map uses the flow and volume of ice to infer the land below, as shown in the video above.
It has discovered the deepest canyon on Earth’s surface, plunging 3.5 kilometers below sea level in East Antarctica under the Denman Glacier, about half as deep as the high Mount Everest.
The revealed land has mixed news for the future of Antarctica’s ice: on the positive side, the map shows a number of previously unknown ridges in the deep valleys that drain the Transantarctic Mountains, helping to stabilize the glaciers above and limit their potential loss of ice.
But the news was not good at the fastest melting glacier in West Antarctica, Thwaites: the glacier is grounded on a ridge below sea level, with a sloping downward basin behind it. The project hoped that more ridges would appear on the basin that might help hold back warm water as Thwaites retreats beyond the two already identified. None was found.


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