Mapping the Mountains of Antarctica

Antarctica (CIA World Factbook)

Just over 50 years ago during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, Russian scientists exploring Antarctica were astounded to discover that hundreds of yards below the heart of the continent, deeply buried beneath the ice, lay an extraordinary range of mountains — the Gamburtsev Range.

Hidden from view, locked in ice, the Gamburtsevs were a daunting challenge to understand. But now, an international team has invested two months of detailed study in the enigmatic peaks. The preliminary results of their endeavors are reported by the BBC News in Data to Expose ‘Ghost Mountains’.

We now know that the Gamburtsevs are not, as previously supposed, a concentrated cluster of mountains, but rather a linear chain like the Andes or the Appalachians, and not raised by volcanic action like the Hawaiian chain, but created by the tectonic clash of two crustal plates. As the wealth of data is analyzed over the coming months, yet more intriguing truths are certain to emerge.

Antarctic Bedrock Topography (Paul V. Heinrich)

Published in: on December 24, 2009 at 8:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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