Saturday, April 17, 2010

Thousands of Quakes Strike Glaciers Every Day

Up to thousands of "icequakes" may shake a glacier a day, rumblings that could shed light on how climate is changing.Just as volcanoes involve magma interacting with rock, so too do glaciers often involve interplays between water and ice. As such, giant events within glaciers can occur, with icequakes in Antarctica known to reach the force of a magnitude 7 earthquake.
To learn more about icequakes, scientists in Alaska used equipment and techniques normally employed for monitoring seismic events to investigate the Bering Glacier, which flows from the St. Elias mountain range to the south-central coast of Alaska. Ice in this temperate glacier is near its melting point, leading to a history of dramatic surges....

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