Chi­nese find world’s largest canyon below Antarc­tic

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

Re­searchers from China’s 32nd sci­en­tific ex­pe­di­tion to the Antarc­tic have dis­cov­ered the largest known canyon on the Earth be­neath an Antarc­tic ice sheet, Xin­hua News re­ported. It is more than 1,000 kilo­me­ters long (621 miles) and 1,500 me­ters (al­most a mile) deep.

Dis­cov­ered near the Princess El­iz­a­beth Land, the max­i­mum width at the top of the canyon is 26.5 kilo­me­ters (16 miles). This is the first time that any large canyon has been found in the re­gion.

Ac­cord­ing to data col­lected on the site, Chi­nese sci­en­tists made two other ma­jor sci­en­tific dis­cov­er­ies there, said Sun Bo, vice di­rec­tor of China’s 32nd Antarc­tic ex­pe­di­tion team.

The se­cond big dis­cov­ery is that there are nu­mer­ous sub glacial lakes and wa­ter chan­nels be­neath the Antarc­tic ice sheet. Th­ese lakes and bod­ies of wa­ter are in­ter­con­nected.

The third find­ing is that the tem­per­a­ture of deep ice in Princess El­iz­a­beth Land is no­tice­ably higher than in other re­gions, which makes it eas­ier for ice to melt, mean­ing that lakes and other wa­ter sys­tems form more eas­ily.

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