Two major regions in Antarctica — the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the East Antarctic Ice Sheet — are connected by enormous valleys that cross the continent. These canyons — now called Foundation Trough, Patuxent Trough and Offset Rift Basin — were unknown and undescribed until a recent survey.
Foundation Trough is the longest of the canyons, measuring 217 miles (350 kilometers) long and 22 miles (35 km) wide. These "highway" valleys enable the flow of ice from the larger and more stable East Antarctic Ice Sheet to its smaller neighbor.
Originally published on Live Science.
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Mindy Weisberger is an editor at Scholastic and a former Live Science channel editor and senior writer. She has reported on general science, covering climate change, paleontology, biology, and space. Mindy studied film at Columbia University; prior to Live Science she produced, wrote and directed media for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Her videos about dinosaurs, astrophysics, biodiversity and evolution appear in museums and science centers worldwide, earning awards such as the CINE Golden Eagle and the Communicator Award of Excellence. Her writing has also appeared in Scientific American, The Washington Post and How It Works Magazine.