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Fri Nov 9, 2018, 11:57 PM

Huge Lakes Thought to Be Hiding Beneath Antarctica's Ice Seem to Have Vanished

By Stephanie Pappas, Live Science Contributor | November 9, 2018 04:25pm ET

- click for image -


An image of the mountains in the Shackleton Range, bordering Recovery Glacier, East Antarctica, snapped during a NASA IceBridge flight on Oct. 18, 2018.
Credit: NASA IceBridge

An icy mystery brewing under Recovery Glacier in Antarctica has scientists scratching their heads. Where researchers once thought there was a network of under-ice lakes, there now seem to be none.

Antarctic researchers have long believed that large lakes lie hidden beneath the glacier in East Antarctica, trapped between the base of the ice and the bedrock of the Antarctic continent. A new study, though, failed to find any evidence of such large bodies of water.

"They're probably not there," said the study leader, glaciologist Angelika Humbert of the Alfred Wegener Institute's Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.

This apparent lack of lakes is very weird. Without these bodies of water, researchers can't easily explain other observations made about the ice, like the pockets where the surface of the ice rises and falls in cycles or the glacier's flow toward the sea. [Photos: Meltwater Lake Hidden Under Antarctic Ice]


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