Long-Lost Continents Under Antarctica Revealed in Old Satellite Data

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "From Popular Mechanics"data-reactid =" 31 "> From Popular Mechanics

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Beneath Antarctica's millions of square miles of ice, beneath sits in the dirt, rock is more than just a few months ago, in fact, now they have discovered a collection of hidden continents under Antarctica in fact, scientists now say 've discovered a collection of hidden continents under Antarctica left over from millions of years ago.

The researchers from Kiel University in Germany and the British Antarctic Survey who have been found to be relying on the European Space Agency's GOCE satellite. GOCE was a simple satellite that measured the pull of Earth's gravity as it orbited the planet. By measuring exactly where Earth's gravity was strongest and weakest, scientists could paint a clear picture of the planet.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "" These gravity images are revolutionizing our ability to study the least understood continent on Earth, Antarctica, "said study author Fausto Ferraccioli in a press release"data-reactid =" 34 ">" These gravity images are revolutionizing our ability to study the least understood continent on Earth, Antarctica, "said study author Fausto Ferraccioli in a press release.

Antarctica under the ice. They discovered geologic structures called cratons, which are the core regions of most tectonic plates. They also found orogens, which are the folded-up regions of plates that are the precursors to mountain ranges. The continental plates beneath Antarctica to other regions around the world by studying the amount of cratons and orogens.

Photo credit: Kiel University / BAS

For instance, East Antarctica is a patchwork of old cratons and younger orogens. The researchers found similar structures in Australia and India. West Antarctica, on the other hand, has a thinner and more homogeneous crust more closely resembling the southern tip of South America.

This new information tells us more about how the Antarctic continent formed. More importantly, it tells scientists what will happen in the future. And will hopefully get to know how to do it.

Follow-up experiments, like NASA's GRACE mission, and help scientists paint an even clearer picture of what lies underneath all that ice. With any luck, that data can help save at least some of it.

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