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Inland thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

Inland thinning of Pine Island Glacier, West Antarctica

A.Shepherd, D.J. Wingham, J.A.D. Mansley, H.F.J. Corr,
Science, February 2nd, 2001

Giant rivers of ice thread their way across the Antarctic Ice Sheet to the sea. The rivers, termed by scientists "streams", are the largest flows of ice in the world. Some streams are over 2 kilometres thick, 30 km wide and travel at speeds up to 1 km per year. Radar observations by polar orbiting, European ERS satellites have been used by CPOM scientists to map in detail the geography of the streams, many of which were hitherto unknown. A major task of CPOM is to determine if the speed of the streams is increasing; if so sea level will rise as a consequence. Image courtesy of J.L. Bamber, copyright Science magazine.

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