For the first time ever, lakes have been discovered beneath the ice sheets of Greenland, following a discovery from researchers from Cambridge University. “Our results show that sub glacial lakes exist in Greenland, and that they form an important part of the ice sheet’s plumbing system,” says, Steven Palme from the team
There have been hundreds of lakes discovered beneath the Arctic Ice sheets, but this is a first for Greenland, with two roughly 10 kilometers square located by airborne radar. They are believed to be formed by different processes however.
Greenland comprises a thinner ice sheet and proper land mass, and has surface lakes in the summer which are likely to feed these subterranean reservoirs. Previously it was thought that the steeper ices surface of Greenland would make this unlikely.It’s very possible that more lakes exist.
“Because the way in which water moves beneath ice sheets strongly affects ice flow speeds, improved understanding of these lakes will allow us to predict more accurately how the ice sheet will respond to anticipated future warming,” Palme said.