Tuesday, 13 November, 2018


Scientists record Antarctica's singing ice shelf

Antarctic ice sounds really creepy when it vibrates Scientists Just Detected Some Very Odd Noises Coming From An Antarctic Ice Sheet
Kristine Garrett | 20 October, 2018, 17:09

In 2014, scientists deployed seismic equipment on the Ross Ice Shelf, which is the biggest section of floating ice in Antarctica, so they could study the crust and mantle underneath it. Chaput hoped to find some seasonal changes in its mass.

It is reported by the American geophysical Union (AGU), reports the Chronicle.info with reference to Focus.

Just in time for Halloween - listen to the supernatural sounds of winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf.

As the global temperature is still rising, massive ice shelves are melting, and the excess water will increase the level of the sea.

The normal human hearing range is 20Hz to 20,000Hz (though this upper limit drops off as we age) and the ice shelf "continuously "sings" at frequencies of five or more cycles per second (or 5Hz)".

The biggest shelf in Antarctica - the Ross shelf has an area of about 500 square kilometers, slightly less than France.

Researchers were able to use the sensors to study movements and sounds of the Ross Ice Shelf until early 2017, according to the study.

The team believes that monitoring vibrations could help predict if the ice shelf is about to break. Because of the constant wind, the snow like sand dunes in the desert.

"It's kind of like you're blowing a flute, constantly, on the ice shelf", Julien Chaput, a geophysicist at Colorado State University and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

But the melting of ice shelves has real-world consequences, too.

"Either you change the velocity of the snow by heating or cooling it, or you change where you blow on the flute, by adding or destroying dunes", Chaput explains.

The scientists liken it to "singing", but to our ears the creepy dirge of Antarctic ice shelf vibrations sounds more like the sinister score of a horror movie. "And that's essentially the two forcing effects we can observe". For instance, changes in the hum could indicate the presence of melt ponds or cracks in the ice.

Researchers detailed their initial acoustic monitoring effort this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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