Greenland’s icy mega canyon rivals the Grand Canyon

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

ice canyon 2
Soaring over the Greenland ice sheet to study its murky depths from above.

Climate scientists are always worried over the melting of Greenland’s ice sheet, but a geographer recently used NASA data to reveal a canyon buried a mile beneath the ice! It’s 460 miles long, beating Arizona’s Grand Canyon, which is 277 miles long. However, the Grand Canyon’s got it beat with 6,000 feet of depth in its deepest places against the ice canyon’s 2,600 feet.

The canyon has yet to be named, but is apparently 1 million years older than the ice sheet. By studying the curving pathways of the land beneath Greenland’s ice sheet, climate researchers can better understand how the sheet melts and how water can be transported away.

Researchers from the University of Bristol are now piecing together decades of radar images, mostly from NASA’s Operation IceBridge program that focuses on polar ice studies.

Images and video courtesy of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on YouTube.