Many scientists search for answers to the ancient secrets hidden under the ice of Antarctica. Ice continent presents new discoveries constantly. Recently, satellite studies have shown that deep reliefs of ancient lost continents are hidden beneath a layer of snow hummocks.
The special satellite of gravitational cartography GOCE has revealed what is hidden from other scientific satellites.
According to the collected data, the ice sheets of Antarctica hide the remains of a long-lost continent. A study published in Nature Science Reports presents evidence of its existence from the Gravity missions and the Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE).
According to the researchers, the ancient continents are the remains of cratons – parts of the Precambrian lithosphere.
A team from the University of Kiel in Germany and a group of British scientists studying Antarctica combined GOCE data with seismic indicators to create a 3D map of the crust under the Antarctic ice sheet. Using the information of the Gravity project, they were able to look under the thick layer of ice that covers Antarctica and see the crust below.
As a result, they found signs of the presence of the lost continent under the ice, which was once part of one of the large supercontinent of the planet – Pangea.
These results are interesting not only for geologists but also for our understanding of the history of the planet as a whole. Continents on our planet probably began to split off from Pangea about 160 million years ago.
Joerg Ebbing, one of the authors of the study, is sure that East Antarctica was formed from different cratons. Half of the most mysterious continent of the planet is a kind of mosaic, where each part is connected with neighboring continents.
Fausto Ferraccioli of the British Antarctic Survey and co-author of the study said that the obtained data provides geophysicists with a new tool for exploring the deep structure of the least understood continent on Earth and exploring how subglacial geology and tectonic structures can affect the topography hidden under the Antarctic glacial rocks.