Thousands of tiny ice quakes shake Antarctica at night

McT

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March 11, 2019

Stay overnight on an Antarctic ice shelf, and you might feel the shaking from thousands of tiny quakes as the ice re-forms after melting during the day.

In a recent study on Antarctica’s McMurdo Ice Shelf, scientists used seismometers to record hundreds of thousands of tiny “ice quakes” that appear to be caused by pools of partially-melted ice expanding and freezing at night.

University of Chicago glaciologist Douglas MacAyeal is co-author of the study, published in the Annals of Glaciology on December 17, 2018. MacAyeal said in a statement:

In these areas we would record tens, hundreds, up to thousands of these per night. It’s possible that seismometers may be a practical way for us to remotely monitor glacier melting.

More at EarthSky: https://earthsky.org/earth/thousands-ice-quakes-antarctica-every-night
 
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