Unique subglacial lakes uncovered by University of Sheffield researchers

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Researchers at the University of Sheffield have provided a unique glimpse into one of the least understood environments on Earth by revealing for the first time former subglacial lakes and their drainage routes beneath the North American ice sheets.

By investigating a very strange flat spot and associated channel in Alberta, Canada, which had no water in it, academics discovered the former existence of a lake trapped beneath an ice sheet during the last glaciation. As this relict lake is no longer covered by many kilometres of ice, they were able to reconstruct what the lake would have looked like and how it drained from the landforms and sediments. Dr Stephen Livingstone, lead author of the paper, said the results were “key” to helping investigations of subglacial lakes.