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Greenland: Longest Grand Canyon Discovered Under Ice Sheet

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posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 03:53 PM

'Grand Canyon of Greenland' Discovered Under Ice Sheet

A 3-D view of the subglacial canyon, looking northwest from central Greenland.

The age of discovery isn't over yet. A colossal canyon, the longest on Earth, has just been found under Greenland's ice sheet...

The great gorge meanders northward from Summit, the highest point in central Greenland, toward Petermann Glacier on the northwest coast, covering more than 460 miles (750 kilometers).

Researchers think the ravine could be even longer, but they don't yet have the data to prove where the canyon peters out deep under the interior ice sheet. "It may actually go farther south ..."

The broad chasm is up to 2,600 feet (800 meters) deep and 6 miles (10 km) wide, similar to America's Grand Canyon in scale, the researchers said. The distinctive V-shaped walls and flat bottom suggests water carved the buried valley, not ice, Bamber said. Though it is not the world's deepest canyon, it's the longest, handily besting the 308-mile-long (496 km) Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon in China.

The great river channel could explain the missing lakes under Greenland's interior ice sheet. The weight of the ice sheet pushes down the island's middle into a bowl-shaped basin.

Given this saggy middle, scientists have long wondered why Greenland isn't filled with buried lakes, like Antarctica's Lake Vostok and Lake Whillans.

The northern part of the canyon may drain meltwater, but farther inland, Bamber and his colleagues think the massive weight of ice pushes water elsewhere.

The implication of a such a discovery you may be asking yourself? it is...

And the newly discovered canyon could boost the breakup of one of the coastline's briskly retreating glaciers. The Greenland Grand Canyon dumps right into Petermann Glacier, which has dropped two massive icebergs in the past three years, each bigger than Manhattan.

On July 31, 2012, a satellite showed the large iceberg had nearly reached the mouth of the fjord that houses Greenland's Petermann Glacier.

edit on 29-8-2013 by Skywatcher2011 because: edited thread title

posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 03:57 PM
This just blew me away to find out that the Grand Canyon is no longer the biggest in the world....the Grand Mal Canyon lies now under Greenland...that is just amazing.

I wonder what lies in the canyon? Frozen dinosaurs, some other life forms...alien base perhaps?

I am sure this will most definitely be explored further and hopefully some exciting findings arise from this exploration!

posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 04:41 PM
Cool discovery!

Although the donkey rides to the bottom might be pretty cold---might need a donkey sweater
edit on 29-8-2013 by iamhobo because:

posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 04:56 PM
There you are,
we've been looking all over for you!

posted on Aug, 29 2013 @ 05:42 PM
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

Cool stuff! (Pun intended.)
I was about to post a thread about this, but I searched and found yours, good catch.

Here is a little video I found about it.

And here is thread from a year ago discussing another possible rival to the Grand Canyon in Antarctica.
Antarctic ice melts into hidden ‘Grand Canyon’

posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 10:22 AM
And there goes another of the the U.S.'s titles...

posted on Aug, 30 2013 @ 10:27 AM
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

For me, the best thing about this is that they admit they have only managed to map some of the canyon and that it could actually be longer.

Makes you wonder though.........i give you Greenland and i raise you.......Antarctica?

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 08:20 AM
I hope that within my lifetime we get some sort of awesome technology that can show us exactly whats under the ice of antarctica and greenland. Im curious as to see what could be under there.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 12:22 PM
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

you should see all the research done on the Grand Canyon... how it goes from course to fine material from bottom to top, how the layers are perfectly flat, how the bottom layer has millions of nautilus fossils of all ages pointing in the same direction...

fascinating stuff.

posted on Aug, 31 2013 @ 07:16 PM
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

I tough there is to much more under ice around the world.

posted on Sep, 2 2013 @ 12:16 PM

Originally posted by angkory13
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

I tough there is to much more under ice around the world.

Indeed. Many theories tells that, both Greenland and Antarctica were completely free of ice at one point (actually several times, as if its a cyclus). I wonder if older civilizations of humans have lived there, and if traces or even hard and fully preserved signs of it are hidden deep below the ice.

Imagine what we could learn!

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