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
UCI and NASA document accelerated glacier melting in West Antarctica
26.10.2016 | University of California - Irvine
Ice shelf vibrations cause unusual waves in Antarctic atmosphere
25.10.2016 | American Geophysical Union
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences