Tweet NASA Earth On April 27 a potential discovery was announced.
The satellite imagery relates to an area particularly affected by Melting snowThe landscape has recently changed dramatically rapidly, revealing new lands hitherto hidden from us.
In March 2022, a large polar ice cap in the East Antarctic region completely disintegrated, creating a rare, extreme phenomenon that saw a large city-sized piece of ice collapse into the sea within a few weeks.
It happened on the Knox Coast, in what is known as Glaciers Glenzer and Congerin a region of the continent that was first drawn on the map only in 1955. Here, where huge expanses of glaciers stretch as far as the eye can see, up to 200 meters above sea level, today the blue waters dominate today Davis Cthat swallowed up over time Larger and larger pieces of veneer.
As is often the case with discoveries in Antarctica, The scene change was fast: At the beginning of March 2022, the ice sheet fed by the Glenzer and Conger glaciers was intact, and after a few days it practically disappeared.
However, according to satellite images from NASA, the continent may have gained another IslandIt loses some of its ice. It wouldn’t be the first time that land had appeared after the polar glaciers had disappeared: it was the last island to have returned to the mainland by retreating ice caps. SwordDiscovered in 2020 hidden in the middle of the Thwaites Glacier, a granite island is one of the largest on the continent.
Lost the ice, found the island?
What NASA thinks is a good candidate to be next New island in Antarctica It can be clearly seen through a trio of images taken by Landsat satellites Between 1989 and 2022.
The first images show the mysterious “uncharted island” as it was visible in 1989, perfectly integrated into the white expanse of Glanzier Conger’s mantle: then the Davis Sea was a thin vein between solid polar ice.
The latest satellite image was taken in January 2022, just before the glacier collapse, and shows what appears to be an island in the middle of the sea. The island, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory, “I kept the same shapeeven after the canopy detached and the snow around it melted.”
This white hill in the middle of the sea didn’t move even after the terrifying avalanche last March, when a slab the size of a city fell into the sea in a very short time. Moreover, NASA notes that the Earth “appears higher than its circumference: the elevation profile indicates that at least part of the mass is located 30-35 meters above sea level.”
But how do you make sure it’s an island? The only way to find out, explains the Ice Realm Christopher Schumann“is to go near a ship and look for outcrops, maybe even radar to determine the thickness of the ice.”
In any case, the object certainly gives hope: “The ICESat-2 profile shows that the surface is much higher than sea level,” suggesting that there may be a layer of rock underneath to support the ice sheet. Thus, the real island can lie close to sea level, or out of the water for a few meters.
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