A new Greenland landscape has been discovered by American geologists. What is unique about this new landscape is that it is 2.7 millions years and is below Greenland’s sheet of ice.
This new Greenland landscape underneath the ice sheet of Greenland was influenced by glaciers. What usually happens is that a glacier will get rid of everything on one plot of land. If there was vegetation on that land, the glacier will scrape it away. If there was bedrock, the glacier would wipe it clean. There should have been nothing left, but this new Greenland landscape managed to survive.
Scientists found this landscape in prime condition two miles below the ice. This new finding should prove that the ice sheet had existed far longer than knew before the discovery of this new land. This landscape not only survived the glacier, but several climate change episodes.
Paul Bierman, a geologist and one of the people to discover this new Greenland landscape, think that the land was sculpted by the glacier to form what it is today. After the glacier left, the ice sheet froze this land. Bierman thinks that it is like a refrigerator preserving the food inside.
This newly discovered Greenland landscape shows that the center of Greenland was stable while the ice sheet outside the center melted the warm periods. The center never really fully melted so this newly discovered landscape was capable of being preserved even during millions of years of changing temperatures.
Dylan Rood, a former scientist, thought that the new Greenland landscape was green millions of years ago. He believes that Greenland was very much like the green tundra in Alaska. This was before it was covered by one of the largest bodies of water on the planet.
The discovery of this landscape beneath the ice was in an article published in the journal called Science. Geologists had taken 17 samples from the ice sheet that is to be found in Summit, Greenland. These geologists then tested the samples and found that the sample contained a scarce form of the element called beryllium. The form of this element was beryllium-10 and it is usually created by cosmic radiation. The ice sheet having this rare form of an element meant that soil had been unwavering and was exposed to the surface of the ice sheet between 200,000 and a million years ago before the ice sheet covered it again.
The newly discovered rare element was not the only thing that led these geologists to believe that there was a new landscape under the ice. They also found nitrogen and carbon as well as organic material that could only have come from a tundra that had been covered by the ice.
Currently, the Greenland ice sheet might be melting faster than people think. The experts consider that Greenland is going through something called “dynamic thinning.” This could be because the melting of the ice sheet is going into the sea. The amount of water that the Greenland is contributing due to the melting of the ice could be higher than originally thought. The new landscape might actually get to be seen. The new landscape in Greenland that has been recently discovered may have survived the scraping of a glacier and millions of years of climate change. This new land might get to be seen because of the current global warming.
By Tom Clark