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Antarctica is swimming with rivers, lakes and ponds

Wednesday 26 Apr 17 10:00am

A 130-metre-wide waterfall drains meltwater from the Nansen Ice Shelf into the ocean | Stuart Rankin


By TIM RADFORD | Scientists poring over military and satellite imagery have mapped the unimaginable: a network of rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and even a waterfall, flowing over the ice shelf of a continent with an annual mean temperature of about minus 50deg.

In 1909, Ernest Shackleton and his fellow explorers on their way to the magnetic South Pole found that they had to cross and recross flowing streams and lakes on the Nansen Ice Shelf.

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