Several hundred (379) subglacial lakes have now been mapped[1, 3].The largest is Lake Vostok in East Antarctica (240 km long, 50 km wide and hundreds of metres deep), which is of significant interest to researchers because of its potential to harbour life.Given that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has a total sea level equivalent of 3.3 m 1. Reassessment of the potential sea-level rise from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. 379 subglacial lakes have now been identified beneath the Antarctic continent.Antarctic subglacial lakes may cause changes in ice flow, by draining rapidly and lubricating the ice-bed interface, allowing ice streams to flow even more rapidly.
Over the last few decades, airborne radio-echo sounding has been used to identify a number of lakes beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The rough topography of the bedrock beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet is conducive to lake formation, with lakes lying in topographic hollows.Fast-flowing ice streams draining the WAIS (Pine Island Glacier and Thwaites Glacier in particular) into the Amundsen Sea have a grounding line on a reverse bed slope, becoming deeper inland. Marine Ice Sheet Collapse Potentially Underway for the Thwaites Glacier Basin, West Antarctica. Recession of the grounding line means that the ice stream is grounded in deeper water, with a greater ice thickness. Once melt passed 1 mm per year, rapid collapse (within decades) occurred as the grounding line reached the deepest parts of the marine basin (for reference, total global sea level rise today is ~3 mm per year, so this is a significant contribution! The highest-melt simulations pass the threshold of 1 mm per year within 250 years. For all but the very lowest melt simulations, this critical threshold was passed within 1000 years.