Ice and Medicine at the end of the earth

43. What is underneath all that ice. Is there water? Land? or maybe even an ancient world full of dinosaurs and palm trees?


Great Question!  There is a lot of ice.  Unlike the arctic, the ice is mostly sitting on land.  The glacial flow does extend over the water at the edge of the continent.  You can see some pictures that I took from the underwater observation tube on my main post page. 

Maybe one of the scientists out here will find a hidden ancient world.  But I doubt it.  The scientists at CTAM (a camp set up at the base of the Trans Antarctic Mountains) have found a lot of plant and dinosaur fossils!  I look forward learning more about their findings when they return from the field. 

This is a view of Antarctica, made using sonar, that identifies what lies beneath the ice sheet.  The map and description are taken from

Subglacial topography and bathymetry of Antarctica. As indicated at the left of the map, the different shades of blue and purple indicates the parts of the ocean bottom and the bedrock under the ice, that are below sea level. The other colors indicate the Antarctic bedrock that extends over the sea level. Each color represents a range of 2,500 feet. The map is not corrected for rising sea levels and isostatic rebound, that would occur if the Antarctic ice sheet completely melted to expose the bedrock surface. March 13, 2008
Source: BEDMAP Consortium

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