News & information on Antarctica & the Southern Ocean

Newly detected: Plate tectonic boundary runs beneath the Ross Ice Shelf

Previously unmapped geologic boundary between East & West Antarctica under the Ross Ice Shelf.

Secrets revealed from beneath the Ross Ice Shelf: the airborne magnetometer survey, which was part of the four-year ROSETTA-Ice project, has detected the previously unmapped geologic boundary between East and West Antarctica under the ice shelf. Most significantly, the seafloor on the East Antarctic side of the plate boundary is much deeper the western side. This affects the ocean circulation nebenath the ice, as the deeper water shields much of the grounding line of Ross Ice Shelf from exposure to melt-inducing warm water. More information at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

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