A region of West Antarctic continent is behaving otherwise from most of the continent’s ice: an outsized patch of ice there’s thickening, not like alternative elements of West Antarctic continent that are losing ice. whether or not this thickening trend can continue affects the quantity that melting or collapsing glaciers may raise the extent of the world’s oceans.

A study crystal rectifier by the University of Washington has discovered a brand new clue to the present region’s behavior: A volcano below the ice sheet has left AN virtually half dozen,000-year record of the glacier’s motion. The track hidden within the middle of the ice sheet suggests that this thickening is simply a short-run feature that will not have an effect on the ice mass over the long run. It conjointly suggests that similar clues to the past could also be concealed deep within the ice sheet itself.

The data return from the ice higher than Mount Resnik, a 1.6-kilometer (mile-high) inactive volcano that presently sits below three hundred meters (0.19 miles) of ice. The volcano lies simply upstream of the thickening Kamb Ice Stream, a part of a dynamic coastal region of ice that drains into Antarctica’s sea.

Studies show Kamb Ice Stream has flowed quickly within the past however stalled over a century agone, deed the region’s ice to empty via the four alternative major ice streams – a switch that glaciologists assume happens each few hundred years. in the meantime, the ice interior of Kamb Ice Stream is starting to bulge, and it’s unclear what’s going to happen next.

“The closure of Kamb Ice Stream started long before the satellite era,” Holschuh aforesaid. “We would like some longer-term indicators for its behavior to grasp however vital this closure is for the longer term of the region’s ice.”

The paper analyzes 2 measuring system surveys of the area’s ice. One was collected in 2002 by co-authors parliamentarian Jacobel and Brian Welch, exploitation the ice-penetrating measuring system at St. Olaf faculty in an American state, and also the alternative in 2004 by author Howard Conway, a UW analysis academic of Earth and house sciences.

The study shows that the mysterious feature originates at the ice covering Mount Resnik. The authors believe that the volcano’s height pushes the comparatively skinny ice sheet up most that it changes the native wind fields, and affects depositing of snow. therefore because the ice sheet passes over the volcano a locality passed over on a number of annual layers of snow.