A source of radioactive heat that contributes to the decomposition of the ice from the heart of the Earth is found under AntarcticaIt is near the magnetic south pole and in the future it can accelerate the melting of the frozen mass in this area from the water that accumulates at the base of the glacier. He was identified after the British Antarctic Research (Bass) radar investigations, the British organization he is investigating in Antarctica, and published this finding in the Scientific Reports magazine.
"The discovery confirms that the collapse of ice in Antarctica also suffers from local effects such as radioactive sources or volcanoes because it is an ice-covered continent, unlike the Arctic, which is an ocean that freezes and suffers only from the overall effects of warming climate change, "said Antonio Meloni, chairman of the Italian National Antarctic Science Commission.
Under the ice of Antarctica there are remnants of ancient lost continents, according to European satellite Gotse, which from 2009 to 2013 examined the gravity of the Earth. There are at least three fragments previously united in Africa, Australia and India, the oldest, with an estimated age between 1000 and 550 million years.
Published in Scientific Reports, the discovery is due to the German University of Kiel and the British Antarctic Survey (Bass). Researchers analyzed ESA mission data that measured the thin differences in gravity from one point to another on Earth with a resolution of 80 kilometers and compared it with the course of seismic waves allowing you to scan the interior of the planet . In this way, they received a 3D map of the continental plates that opened a window in the depths of the Earth, particularly in Antarctica.
These images of gravity "revolutionize our ability to study the lesser-known continent, Antarctica," said Fausto Ferassioli, responsible for Bass geological and geophysical research. Under the eastern part of Antarctica, he added: "we see an exciting mosaic of fragments of missing continents," which reveals similarities and differences between the bark under Antarctica and the other continents "to which the fragments joined" 160 million years ago. for years ".
It has also been found that Western Antarctica has a thinner crust, with a thickness of between 20 and 35 kilometers, compared to the East Antarctica, consisting of relics from ancient continents between 40 and 60 kilometers thick, separated by more youth. The remnants are at least three, and the oldest are the fragments of the so-called Cratera Mousson, which in the past included parts of South Australia and the remnant hidden under the ground of Queen Maud. The two fragments are separated by the Gamburtsev mountain chain, buried under ice.
The origin of the third fragment, located between the Bourgas and the South Pole, is not clear. Gotse 's data outline three fragments and, according to the researchers, "represent a new important element for Antarctic research".