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Linear Patters on West Antarctic Ice Sheet

77.7S 52W

July 11th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Antarctica - March 29th, 2009

Antarctica - March 29th, 2009

About 98% of Antarctica is covered by the Antarctic ice sheet, a sheet of ice averaging at least 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) thick. The continent has about 90% of the world’s ice (and thereby about 70% of the world’s fresh water).

Here, rounded and raised linear patterns are visible on theĀ  West Antarctic Ice Sheet. These are ice rises: clearly defined elevations of the otherwise totally flat ice shelf, typically dome-shaped and rising 100 to 200 meters above the surrounding ice shelf. An ice rise forms where the ice shelf touches the rocky seabed because of an elevation that does not reach sea level.

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet has shown signs of increasing mass loss and has been referred to as the ‘Awakened Giant’ (click here for articles and images regarding this loss).

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