Bigger than the Grand Canyon, though? If you’ve ever read James Rollins’ horror/thriller Subterranean or IDW’s V-Wars, you will know why I’m both excited and a little creeped out by news of a newly discovered giant trench underneath Antarctica that was formed over millions of years.
The researchers spent three seasons investigating and mapping the region in West Antarctica, uncovering a massive subglacial valley up to 3 kilometres deep, more than 300 kilometres long and up to 25 kilometres across. In places, the floor of this valley is more than 2000 metres below sea level.
The mountain range and deep valley were carved millions of years ago by a small icefield similar to those of the present-day Antarctic Peninsula, or those of Arctic Canada and Alaska.
The team’s analysis has provided an unprecedented insight into the extent, thickness and behaviour of this ancient icefield, and the configuration and behaviour of the early West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The subglacial landscape shows where and how the West Antarctic Ice Sheet originated and grew. It also provides important clues about the size and shape of the ice sheet in West Antarctica in a warmer global climate.
Absolutely amazing! However, if all of a sudden a vampire virus or worse pops off, I’m looking right at this project.
Kidding… *Stocks up on wood stakes and shotguns*