Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Residual Volcanic Heat May Be Melting Greenland Ice

17.12.2001


Residual heat from volcanic activity may be causing a river of ice to flow in Greenland, a new study indicates. Geologists have found that the region directly above a stream of relatively fast moving ice is thinner than a simple model of glacier change would predict. This observation, described in a report published today in the journal Science, may help researchers pin down the contribution ice sheets have made to sea level changes.

Glaciers are built up from layers of fused snow that spread out under their own weight as they accumulate, leaving a frozen record of their life history behind. Studying ice-penetrating radar images to piece together the ages of different layers in the Greenland sheet, researchers found that only significant melting could explain the thickness of an area resting above a lengthy ice flow. The old crust beneath this 600-square-kilometer region should melt about a few millimeters of ice each year; instead, up to 10 centimeters liquify. Although its true nature and duration are not clear, the hotspot is comparable in size and strength to the Yellowstone caldera, a place where the crust collapsed after a volcanic eruption. "The rates of melting are a surprise," lead author Mark Fahnestock says, "and the fact that it’s localized in the right place [to cause the ice flow]."

Ice sheets and flows are important stores and sources of water, he adds, so understanding where they come from should improve glaciologists’ understanding of glacier behavior and corresponding changes in sea level. In an accompanying article, geologist Christina Hulbe of Portland State University notes that water melting from the base of a glacier can alter the way it moves and stores energy. This unexpected new finding, she writes, "reminds us that basal melt water matters and that it may be important in places we never suspected."


JR Minkel | Scientific American
Further information:
http://www.sciam.com/news/121401/2.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations
23.02.2018 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

nachricht First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals
22.02.2018 | University of Arizona

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Attoseconds break into atomic interior

A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.

In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Basque researchers turn light upside down

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator

23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Attoseconds break into atomic interior

23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>