May 10, 2024

Polar Ice Caps

Richard Cronin

Ice capped land around the world would include Greenland. The predominant calving glaciers are the Jacobshaven glacier flowing into the Davis Strait to the West and the Petermann glacier flowing into the Arctic Ocean.

Penetrating radar surveys by the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC) have determined that Greenland is virtually a bowl with subglacial lakes and channels. This melt water is produced due to Iceland’s magma chamber extending beneath the interior of Greenland. The NSIDC’s surveys also identified that at the bottoms of these two glaciers there are gravel beds cut through rock during the Ice Ages when the ice was thicker and the greater weight ground down the walls and bottom. These gravel beds are flow passages which connect to the ocean waters at and below sea level. The mass of ice on the interior has already displaced its equivalent mass (Archimedes Principal). For all intents and purposes the ice sheets of Greenland’s interior behave much as free-floating sea ice.

Antarctica is also very seismic and steam builds the ice sheets from below plus provides melt water to lubricate the movement of the ice sheets. Antarctic researchers have identified that East Antarctica pulses up and down due to seismic movement, effectively pumping "rivers of ice” through the mountain passes of the Transantarctic Mountain Range. The ice produced from seismic/ geothermal sources builds the ice sheets to calve off the Ross Ice Shelf. The Thwaites glacier is melting from below due to geothermal heat (Univ. of Texas-Austin). The bottoms of the Bentley Subglacial trench and Byrd trench are described as "magma blowtorches” (Washington Univ. St.Louis).

As the ice sheets calve off of West Antarctica, the continuous strong circumpolar winds pin the icebergs against the Antarctic Peninsula and they stack up into ice hummocks.
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