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Ghost Particles and Singing Ice: 11 Wild Antarctic Stories from 2018

Ice highways

A series of mountain ranges divide east and west in Antarctica.

(Image credit: NASA)

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.

Mindy Weisberger
Mindy Weisberger is a senior writer for Live Science covering general science topics, especially those relating to brains, bodies, and behaviors in humans and other animals — living and extinct. Mindy studied filmmaking at Columbia University; her videos about dinosaurs, biodiversity, human origins, evolution, and astrophysics appear in the American Museum of Natural History, on YouTube, and in museums and science centers worldwide. Follow Mindy on Twitter.