Remains of a giant ancient lake, hidden deep under the ice cover in the north-west of the country, were discovered near Greenland. Scientists say that it is hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years old.
The huge “bottom of the fossil lake” is a phenomenon that scientists have never seen before in this part of the world, although we know that the huge ice sheet of Greenland (the second largest in the world after Antarctica) remains full of hidden secrets. Last year, scientists reported the discovery of more than 50 glacial lakes under the Greenland Shield: bodies of melted liquid water trapped between the root rock and the ice cover above the head.
The new discovery has a different nature: the pool of an ancient lake, long dried up and now full of sediment aeons – loose rock up to 1.2 kilometers thick, and then covered with another 1.8 kilometers of reservoirs.
However, when the lake was formed a long time ago, according to researchers, this region was not covered with ice, and the pool could support a monumental lake with a large surface area of about 7100 square kilometers.
This is about the same size as the territory of the combined states of Delaware and Rhode Island, and this massive lake would hold about 580 cubic kilometers of water, feeding on a network of at least 18 ancient streams that once existed to the north.
Although there is no way to know how much older this lake is now, it is still a giant time capsule of preserved sediments that may give us some clues about the environment millions of years ago.
The results have been published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters.