Hidden Contours of Antarctica Depicted in Map of ‘Ice-free’ Continent

Scientists with the British Antarctic Survey have published the most detailed map yet of what Antarctica’s landscape would look like without its thick covering of ice, showing that large portions of the frozen

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Antarctica Ice British Antarctic Survey

An ‘ice-free’ Antarctica
continent actually rest on the sea bed rather than on land. Using data collected by aerial flights, satellite technology, and research ships over 50 years, British researchers were able to illustrate mountain peaks that are the size of the European Alps but are hidden below thousands of feet of ice. Less than 1 percent of the continent’s rock base is currently visible above the ice, which is three miles thick in places. Known as BEDMAP, the imagery will be shown at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union this week. With increasing evidence that Antarctica’s edges are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth, the new imagery could help scientists forecast future melting.