West Antarctica Bedrock Is Rising At Surprisingly Fast Rate

Posted: Jun 22 2018, 6:09am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
West Antarctica Bedrock is Rising at Surprisingly Fast Rate
Antarctica, as seen using Google Earth, and a cut to show the interior of the earth, where the mantle (red and dark red) and the core (yellow) are visible. The Amundsen Sea Embayment is indicated by the red rectangle. On the right, a photo reveals one of the GPS sites in the study. Image Credit: VR. Barletta, DTU Space at the Technical University of Denmark/Google Earth/Terry Wilson, The Ohio State University
  • Antarctica is Getting Taller

Antarctica is Growing in its Height

The rock strata beneath Antarctica are rising higher and higher. They go up by 1.6 inches per year. The main factor responsible for this phenomenon may be the thinning ice layer. As the ice undergoes thawing, it has less of a weighing influence on the rocks below.

Couple this with time and as tons of ice is shifted from the top, the bedrock grows upwards. This is a forced process thanks to the mantle below the earth’s surface. All this is both good and bad for climate scientists.

The good that comes from all this is that the ice sheets could end up with more stability due to the bedrock. The bad happens to be the flawed satellite measurements of the loss in ice layers.

This causes a misunderstanding regarding the ice loss by as much as 10% on the part of scientists. The interplay of forces between the bedrock and the mantle is something which is global in nature. It does not just happen in Antarctica.

As for the molten mantle, it reaches out to 1796 miles into the planet’s core. The shifts in this layer cause a difference to the surface phenomenon.

The tectonic plates undergo seismic shifts thanks to this as well. That is why we have earthquakes. While scientists do know through computer simulations how the mantle behaves, they do not have the full picture of how everything operates in the geological sense.

The viscous nature of the mantle is still an incomplete science. It not only depends on heat and cold levels but on the water content as well.

Intense changes in the Antarctic bedrock have occurred over the years forcing scientists to take notice of the situation. It is a difficult thing to study. The West Antarctic Ice Sheet would probably collapse within the next century.

The findings of this study got published in the journal Science.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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