One of the most incredible features of the Antarctic continent is the so-called “Blood Falls”. For over a century, this waterfall’s bright red flow of water has surprised and unnerved both explorers and scientists. Now, through an understanding of where and how it flows, they may get a clearer glimpse of how glaciers melt, all thanks to a new study.
Blood Falls May Help Understand Glaciers
“We knew that there was a brine outflow creating the falls […]” said Jessica Badgeley, lead author of the study. “The mystery that remained was the link between that source and the outflow.”
Badgeley also pointed out the unusual nature of this features. She stated that there are “very few things like it”. This also made it harder to find the source of the brine. Or to determine how it traveled from under the glacier up to the surface.
Another very interesting part of their discoveries is that liquid water can exist within a frozen glacier at all. This was previously considered and seen as impossible. Still, the saltier water freezes at lower temperatures. As such, it can apparently carve a path all the way to the sea.