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Revealed: Vast water store beneath Greenland's ice

Published on Dec 23, 2013 6:14 AM

PARIS (AFP) - A vast store of water equivalent in area to Ireland lies beneath Greenland's icesheet, and it may provide answers to one of the big riddles of climate change, scientists reported on Sunday.

In 2011, United States (US) scientists crossed the southern Greenland icesheet on an expedition to drill ice cores, a benchmark of annual snowfall.

They were stunned when they drilled into a layer of compressed snow called firn - for instead of piercing an icy sponge at a depth of 10 metres as expected, they encountered liquid water and ice granules instead.

They carried out another drilling a few kilometres away, and got the same result when they reached the firn layer at 25 metres.

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