Ancient landscape found in East Antarctic Ice

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You don’t often expect to find ancient lands underwater, but scientists from Durham University have found them using a unique method. They used radio-echo sounding methods to determine a bat’s echolocation, discovering 19,883 square kilometers of ancient land beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. As a result, they can discover new details about the frigid region.

The ice appears to have preserved a version of Earth that is thousands of years old. Consequently, they can teach us a lot about the ancient history of the world. Further research could also help us understand how the ice sheet might transform due to climate change. As a result, we were able to estimate how global warming would develop.

This article discusses how researchers from Durham found an ancient landscape beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Later I will discuss another example of technology revealing history.

How did the Durham scientists make their discovery?

The researchers from the University of Durham discovered the 32,000 square kilometer landmass using radio echo sound techniques. It is a method of sending radio waves through the ice and measuring the time it takes for the signals to return.

They then confirmed this using satellite data, which revealed small undulations on the surface of the ice sheet. Scientists have determined that rivers shaped the ancient landscape about 14 million years ago.

That means the East Antarctic Ice Sheet probably started forming about 34 million years ago. The terrain also had ridges and valleys that resembled the glacier-altered landscape of North Wales, UK.

Stewart Jamieson, professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Durham and lead author of the study, said we know less about the land beneath the ice than we do about the surface of Mars.

“And that’s a problem, because that landscape determines the way the ice flows in Antarctica, and it determines the way it might respond to climate change in the past, present and future,” Jamieson said.

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The lead researcher noted that his team is still examining a small part of that landscape in more detail to gain further insights. “And what we find is an ancient land surface that has not been eroded by the ice sheet, and instead appears to have been created by rivers before the ice came,” he said.

Neil Ross, professor of polar science and environmental geophysics at Newcastle University and co-author of the study, said it could help us prepare for climate change:

“It is remarkable that this landscape, ‘hidden in plain sight’ for years, can tell us so much about the early and long-term history of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet, and help us understand how it might develop in the future. response to future climate change.”

How AI uncovered a new piece of history

Artificial intelligence reveals a new piece of history through advanced data analysis and insights.

Artificial intelligence helped uncover more insights about another ancient landscape: Pompeii. A student used AI to decipher a scroll that survived the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

The volcano erupted in 79 AD. one of history’s most historic natural disasters, burying Pompeii, Herculaneum and other Roman cities in ashes. In the 18th century, experts found a scroll measuring less than six meters in well-preserved ruins.

They found strange chunks of charcoal, which turned out to be thousand-year-old scrolls. However, extremely high temperatures caused the paper rolls to break down, making their contents difficult to read.

Nevertheless, they were determined to learn from the relic. “About 95% of the materials are from the classical period, so we just don’t have anything,” says Professor Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky’s EduceLab.

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He launched the Vesuvius Challenge to encourage other experts to help discover the secrets of the ancient scroll. Ultimately, student Luke Farritor created a machine learning model to decipher the cracking patterns.

He discovered the word ‘porphyras’, the Greek word for ‘purple’. Professor Seales claimed: “This word is our first delve into an unopened old book, reminiscent of royalty, wealth and even ridicule.”

“What this particular scroll is about is still unknown, but I believe it will be revealed soon. An old, new story that for us starts with ‘purple’ is an incredible place to be,” he added.


Scientists from the University of Durham discovered an ancient landscape beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Radio echo sound and satellite data made the discovery possible.

The ice has preserved the terrain, potentially allowing scientists to learn more about the history of our world. It can also help us estimate the growth of climate change.

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For more information about the research, please visit the Nature Communications webpage. Learn about the latest digital trends on Inquirer Tech.

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