Antarctic ice sheet

Antarctic Ice Sheet ( satellite photography " Blue Marble " )

The Antarctic ice sheet (also Antarctic ice sheet ) is one of the two polar ice caps. It is the largest single mass of ice on earth and covers the Antarctic continent ( Antarctica ) almost completely. The surface of the ice sheet is estimated at 13.856 million square kilometers, the ice volume to 26.37 million cubic kilometers. For the average ice thickness, a value of 2.16 km is assumed, the maximum known thickness of the ice was measured with 4776 meters in Terre Adélie.

In the Antarctic ice sheet about 90 percent of the ice and nearly 70 percent of the world's freshwater are bound. Upon complete melting of this would result in a global sea level rise of about 61.1 meters. In Ostantarktika the ice sheet rests on a major land mass, whereas the subsoil of the West Antarctic ice sheet is up to 2500 meters below sea level. Without the presence of ice, this region would be covered by the sea; it is therefore also called a marine ice sheet.

The Antarctic ice sheet is almost completely surrounded by ice shelves, fed by ice streams and Auslassgletschern of the ice sheet. The largest ice sheets are the Ross Ice Shelf, the Filchner - Ronne Ice Shelf Amery Ice Shelf and the.

Ice growth

A study published in the scientific journal Science 2011 discovery makes it clear that the ice sheet is not growing at the plateau Dome A exclusively from above by snowfall, but also from below. Thus, water may hit objects, such as the Gamburzew Mountains, jam and freeze in time or valley walls pressed up and because it then is under less pressure, turn to ice. In the area studied the ice was so average up to a quarter originated. On radar images of an expedition in the Arctic summer 2008-2009, a 1100 meters mighty Eispilz which presses the overlying thousands of meters thick layer of ice showed up.