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Antarctic ice sheets built up from bottom: study

03-04-2011 14:24 BJT

BEIJING, March 4 (Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have found some ice sheets in Antarctica gain their height from below the thick ice, not the top, according to news reports quoting online journal Sciencexpress Friday.

A large floating ice mass is seen in this handout photo after the collapse of the
Larsen B shelf in the Antarctica Peninsula near Base Marambio March 4,
2008. (Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)

International researchers led by Antarctic geophysicist Robin E. Bell of Columbia University, have discovered water is interacting with 25 percent of the bottom parts of the ice sheet by examining some bright spots at the bottom of the Antarctic ice sheet.

They used ice-penetrating radars atop Antarctica and in one case found that the water at the bottom of ice-filled valleys freezes and then rises an entire part of the sheet in a way that is similar to the forming procession of the lake effect snowfalls.

As well as the ice-penetrating radar, the researchers also rely on other instruments to measure the local gravitational and magnetic fields.

More than 20 percent of the East Antarctic ice safter examining some bright spots found at the bottom of the Antarctic ice sheet, heet was explored and the discovery may also lead to new search for ancient ice, said the news reports.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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