CryoSat reveals surprising ebb and flow of subglacial lakes

Thwaites glacier seen by Copernicus Sentinel-2

Hidden from view by ice kilometres thick, there is a vast network of lakes and streams at the base of the Antarctic ice sheet. This subsurface meltwater affects the speed with which the ice sheet flows towards the ocean. Using a decade of altimetry data from ESA’s CryoSat satellite, scientists have made an unexpected discovery about how lakes beneath Thwaites glacier have drained and recharged in quick succession.  

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