Antarctica: The deepest canyon in the world is melting

Denman Canyon, east ofAntarcticis deepest on earth : Filled with ice, it is 20 kilometers wide and races 3,500 meters below sea level. This gigantic model was discovered in 2019 glacier already eroded insidiously, new study reveals in Geological research letters. Using the radar, the researchers were able to reconstruct the topographical development of the canyon between 1996 and 2018 Interferometer COSMO – SkyMed. They found that the glacier bed had retreated 5.4 kilometers along the west flank, where hot water from the circumpolar current penetrated. Antarcticfrom the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean. In the east, however, the glacier is preserved by a rocky ridge.

Paradoxically, this asymmetry threatens the survival of the glacier. Because when it sinks inland, its bed plunges deep, exposing it to the ocean even more. “” If the hot water reaches the ceiling cavity and the ice continues to melt at a rate that exceeds equilibrium conditions, the Denman Glacier could retreat irreversibly “, Warn the researchers. The volume Ice in Denman Canyon is one global sea level rise 1.5 meters.

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