A huge canyon twice the size of the longest river in Britain and as deep as the Grand Canyon lies beneath the ice sheet in Greenland, scientists said Thursday.
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A 3D visualisation of the newly-discovered canyon Jonathan Bamber, University of Bristol
Massive canyon lies beneath Greenland ice sheet
WASHINGTON, AFP — A huge canyon twice the size of the longest river in Britain and as deep as the Grand Canyon lies beneath the ice sheet in Greenland, scientists said Thursday.
Prior to the establishment of the ice sheet some four million years ago, the canyon is believed to have been a major pathway for water from the interior of the land mass to the coast
Even today, the deep river channel – which originates in the center of Greenland and terminates at its northern coast – transports sub-glacial meltwater to the edge of the ice sheet and then into the ocean.
"A 750-kilometer canyon preserved under the ice for millions of years is a breathtaking find in itself, but this research is also important in furthering our understanding of Greenland's past," said David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey.
"This area's ice sheet contributes to sea level rise and this work can help us put current changes in context "
Scientists found the canyon using airborne radar data much of which came from a NASA mission called Operation IceBridge, which used radio waves that traveled through the ice to measure the depth of the bedrock
The Greenland sub-ice canyon is about twice as long as the River Severn in Britain, which extends 350 kilometers.
Michael Studinger, Operation IceBridge Project Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, described the finding as "quite remarkable "
"It shows how little we still know about the bedrock below large continental ice sheets "
The study was published in the US journal Science.
Learn from listening
Click "play" to listen to Greenland's Grand Canyon and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.
airborne: in the air; carried through the air - ที่ส่งโดยทางอากาศ
Antarctic: involving the regions of the world around the South Pole - ที่ใกล้กับบริเวณขั้วโลกใต้
bedrock: the solid rock in the ground below the loose soil and sand - หินแข็งชั้นล่างที่อยู่ใต้ชั้นดินและทราย
breathtaking: extremely impressive or beautiful - งดงามตระการตา
canyon: a long deep valley with very steep sides - หุบเขาลึก
channel: a passage that water can flow along, especially in the ground, on the bottom of a river, etc - ร่องน้ำ, ช่องทาง
coast: an area of land beside the sea - ชายฝั่ง
context: the situation in which something happens and that helps you to understand it - บริบท (คำหรือข้อความแวดล้อมที่ช่วยให้เข้าใจความหมาย
continental: forming a continent, and not including any islands off its coast - เกี่ยวกับทวีป,เกี่ยวกับภาคพื้นทวีป
contribute to: to help to cause an event or situation - ช่วยก่อให้เกิด
current: of the present time - ปัจจุบัน
data: facts or information used for making calculations or decisions - ข้อมูล
depth: the distance down either from the top of something to the bottom, or to a distance below the top surface of something - ความลึก
discover: to find somebody/something, or learning about something that was not known about before - ค้นพบ
establishment: the process of starting or creating something - การสถาปนา, การก่อตั้ง, การจัดตั้ง
extend: to cover a particular area, distance or length of time - กว้างออกไป, ยืดออกไป, ยาวออกไป
glacial: caused or made by glaciers (large sheets of ice); connected with glaciers - เกี่ยวกับธารน้ำแข็ง
interior: the inside of something - ภายใน
journal: a newspaper or magazine that deals with a particular subject or profession - นิตยสาร, วารสาร
land mass: a large area of land, for example a continent -
meltwater: water from ice or snow that has melted - น้ำจากน้ำแข็งหรือหิมะที่ละลาย
mission: an important piece of work that a person or a group of people has been given to do - ภาระกิจ หน้าที่
operation: an activity which is planned to achieve something - การดำเนินการ
originate: to come from a particular place, time, situation, etc - มาจาก, ริเริ่มจาก
preserved: kept in good condition, not damaged or destroyed - คงอยู่, สงวนไว้
prior: before - ก่อนหน้า
publish: to make something available to the public through books, magazines, the Internet, etc. - เผยแพร่, จัดพิมพ์
radar: a system that uses radio waves to find the position and movement of objects, for example planes and ships, when they cannot be seen - เรดาร์, อุปกรณ์ตรวจจับวัตถุเคลื่อนที่
remarkable: unusual or special and therefore surprising and worth mentioning - ไม่ธรรมดา
research: a careful study of a subject, especially in order to discover new facts or information about it - การวิจัย
sea level: the height of the land at the edge of the sea the average height of the sea/ocean, used as the basis for measuring the height of all places on land - ระดับน้ำทะเล
sheet: a wide flat area of something, covering the surface of something else - สิ่งที่เป็นแผ่นแบน
survey: the act of examining and recording the measurements, features, etc. of an area of land - การสำรวจ, การหาข้อมูล
terminate: to end or stop - สิ้นสุด
transport: to move people or things from one place to another - บรรทุก, ขนส่ง
visualisation: a picture of how somebody/something probably looks or looked - การทำให้เห็นได้, การสร้างมโนภาพ
wave: a line of something that moves across an area - คลื่น
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