This Antarctic Ice Shelf Sounds Dark And Foreboding Like Doom Metal


After looking closer at the data, they discovered winds whipping across the massive snow dunes caused the ice sheet's snow covering to rumble, like the pounding of a colossal drum. In 2002, so suddenly collapsed ice shelf Larsen.

For this reason, they have buried 34 monitors seismic under the layer of snow from the sea ice of Ross so they can capture that awesome noise.

Scientists who monitor the Ross Ice Shelf in West Antarctica captured the odd acoustic signal.

The sounds are too low in frequency to be heard by human ears unless sped up by the monitoring equipment.

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The sound changes as weather conditions changes, which the researchers say can track changes such as storms, and more importantly, changes in air temperatures.

Julien Chaput, an ambient noise monitoring expert at Colorado State University and new faculty member at the University of Texas, El Paso, told Earther that the recordings are a "happy accident".

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Winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf cause the massive ice slab's surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant set of seismic "tones" scientists could potentially use to monitor changes in the ice shelf from afar, according to new research.

Chaput told Global News that now, ice shelf monitoring is limited to satellite sweeps, which are few and far between.

This image provided by NASA shows the largest remaining piece of the slowly disintegrating B17B iceberg, which broke off Antarcticas Ross Ice Shelf.

Though photographs may present the barren landscapes of Antarctica as eerily calm and peaceful, at least when no storms are raging, the largely lifeless continent and the ice shelves surrounding it produce a medley of bizarrely handsome sounds.

"Either you change the velocity of the snow by heating or cooling it, or you change where you blow on the flute, by adding or destroying dunes", Chaput explains.

"That's essentially the two forcing effects we can observe". For instance, changes in the hum could indicate the presence of melt ponds or cracks in the ice.

Read the full study, published this week in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.