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Jul 3, 2013 10:02 AM by Stephen Bowers

Antarctica has lakes... below the ice... and they flood

According to a report from NBC News, scientists know of nearly 380 lakes that exist beneath the ice of Antarctica. In fact, scientists have used radar and seismic studies to find a complex of water ways that feed water into the lakes, all beneath the icy surface of the continent at the South Pole.

Scientists have also discovered that these lakes flood, just like glacial lakes in the past. One recent round of flooding push enough water beneath the ice sheet to fill Loch Ness in Scotland.

NBC News refers to a report from LiveScience and says that scientists want to learn how ice flow is affected by the lakes and streams as they try to determine how climate change could affect the continent. 

The scientists are unsure what caused the flooding and are working to find that cause. They do know, however, how much water flowed from the lake because of a massive crater that developed in the surface of the ice. A report published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters says the ice that sank was detected by satellite and covers a span of about 100 square miles and is as much as 230 feet deep.

The crater has slowly filled since 2008, indicating that water has returned to the glacial lake. Scientists are working to determine whether that water is frozen in the form of ice or liquid.


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