The Greenland Ice Sheet is the second largest glacier after the Antarctic. According to the researchers, despite the onset of global warming, even under the most unfavorable set of circumstances, the snow cover from the island will not disappear for another 1000 years. What does the Greenland glacier hide under itself, and when did the “green land” become trapped in permafrost?
In the realm of eternal coldAccording to the most popular version in science, the Greenland ice sheet formed between 3-2.5 million years ago. This could happen for three reasons: a change in the earth's orbit, a natural decrease in greenhouse gases due to the weathering of rocks, or after the disappearance of the Panama Strait.
On a geological scale, climate change on the island occurred almost instantly, which should have left a huge amount of fossil traces of past life under the ice layer.
According to the latest radar, gravimetric and magnetic studies, such a prehistoric archive contains bottom sediments of a huge ancient lakes under the glacier.
The lake was located in the very center of the island and once occupied 7100 km². Its depth was to reach 250 meters. The thickness of valuable bottom sediments is 1.5 km.
Presumably, the glaciers of Greenland also hide the longest canyon on Earth. The length of the gorge reaches 750 km, the width is 10 km, and the crack goes 800 meters deep. The canyon stretches from the center of the island to the north. Today, under-ice meltwater flows down the gorge into the Arctic Ocean.
Evidence of past lifeFrom 1958 to 1966, the US military was actively involved in the study of Greenland. It was assumed that a network of launch sites for nuclear warheads aimed at the USSR would be created under the ice sheet.
Then the researchers drilled through the ice cover, while deepening 3.44 meters into the soil. Samples of plants and microbes were obtained. According to scientists, leaves, twigs, moss looked like they had frozen just yesterday. The researchers concluded that once a forest of coniferous and larch trees grew on the island.
By the way, there is no forest and flowering plants anywhere on the glacier – except for one place, the valley Tsingua is in the very south of Greenland. A tiny reserve 15 km long.
Greenland ApocalypseIn 2016, one of the largest impact craters on the planet was discovered on the northern part of the island. According to estimates of destruction, the diameter of the fallen meteorite should have reached 1.5 km. The diameter of the crater is 31 km, and the depth is more than 300 meters.
The researchers made an interesting conclusion: the meteorite fell after the glaciation of Greenland. It is not yet possible to accurately estimate the age. This could have happened either 3 million years ago or as little as 12 thousand years ago.
Approximate radius of the crater hidden under the ice of Antarctica.
The fall of such a large celestial body should have affected the earth's climate and ecosystems. Now the entire international scientific community has become interested in the crater. The catastrophe could tell a lot about the history of the Earth.
Greenland is still poorly understood and holds many secrets. Perhaps one day we will be able to fully explore the distant island and learn more about our planet.