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Subglacial lakes may influence ice flow

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11:16am, February 26, 2007

From San Francisco, at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

The flow of water into and out of massive, ice-covered lakes in Antarctica may influence the speed at which overlying glaciers move toward the sea, a new study suggests.

Some of the speediest glaciers in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet are hundreds of kilometers long, 50 km wide, and up to 2 km thick, says Robert Bindschadler, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Many of the continent's ice streams nourish ice shelves, which are country-size ledges of floating ice still attached to the land.

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