Rise and Fall of Water Blisters Offers Glimpse Beneath Greenland’s Thick Ice Sheet

Tuesday, Aug 24, 2021

Water “blisters” trapped beneath the thick interior of Greenland’s ice sheet could provide critical insight into the hydrological network coursing deep below Earth’s second largest body of ice — and how it might be destabilized by climate change, according to a recent study led by AOS Faculty Member Ching-Yao Lai, assistant professor of geosciences.

By combining field observations with mathematical models and laboratory experiments, the researchers discovered that these blisters push the surface of the ice upward, then cause it to gradually drop down as the water permeates into the subglacial drainage system, according to a report in the journal Nature Communications.

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