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Antarctic ice sheet

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Antarctic ice sheet is one of the two continental glaciers of the world. It covers 98% of the Antarctic continent, and is the largest single block of ice in the world, with at least 14 million km² and contains 30 million km³ of ice. Maintains more than 90% of Earth's total volume of glacier ice, compares with the 8% that represents the Greenland ice sheet, in the Northern Hemisphere, This ice sheet of Antarctica reaches average of thickness at 4 km, situating the bedrock in some points at 2 km under the sea level.

A satellite image of the Antarctic continent

In much points of the Antarctic coast, the ice sheet continues with larger masses of ice partially floating and tied to land called ice barriers or ice shelves. The largest of these is the Ross Ice Shelf, with an area of 500,000 km² and 50 m of average highness. Said shelves represent fractions of the ice sheet pushed to the sea. The Antarctic ice sheet moves from the outer to a estimated cup beetwen 25 and 100 meters by year, being able to reach 1000 meters per year or more in the case of the ice shelves of the coasts. Its oldness is 33,6 million years.

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