Thursday, June 20, 2013

At the edge of the ocean

Summer is a good time for going through old field photos!

This is perhaps one of the strangest things I've ever seen in Antarctica. It's the mouth of the Garwood River, where it flows into the Ross Sea. Now, lots of rivers flow into the ocean, but not many rivers flow into an ocean that has a perennial ice shelf floating on it. The ice is thick, so it floats high in the water (like an iceberg, about 10% of the ice sticks up above the water line). The Garwood River flows out to the sea and meets the ice. It has melted a hole through the ice shelf, and plunges down into the sea with a mighty roar. And then it's gone.

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