Tuesday, 19 January 2016

World’s largest canyon spotted by Chinese scientists

The world’s largest canyon far larger than the Grand Canyon in the United States has been spotted by the Chinese scientists who took part in the country’s latest Antarctic expedition to the South Pole.
The canyon, more than 1000 kilometres’ long, 1500 metres deep, and 26.5 kilometres wide at the top, is larger than the Grand Canyon and is the largest canyon discovered on earth, state-run Xinhua quoted Chinese scientists who took part in China’s 32nd Antarctic expedition as saying.
Giant wetland beneath Antarctic ice
China’s expedition team, which launched the search around the Princess Elizabeth Area of the South Pole in last November, has also found many sub-glacial lakes and currents connected to the canyon, forming a giant “wetland” beneath the Antarctic ice.
They also detected large-scale “warm ice” under the sheet along with a number of lakes. Warm ice can easily be melted into water.
‘Will increase research in the area’
“It is very exciting that Chinese scientists led the survey and made the findings,” Sun Bo, vice-leader of the expedition team said. He said the achievements would help significantly with research in the area.
In recent years, science circles speculated through satellite remote sensing measures that there should be a giant canyon or lake covered by ice in the Princess Elizabeth Area.
The Chinese expedition team had surveyed an area of 8,66,000 km with the aid of China’s first fixed-wing aircraft, carrying an ice radar, high-precision differential GPS system.
China launched its 32nd Antarctic expedition with the research vessel and icebreaker Xuelong (Snow Dragon) on November 7.

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