PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
PMF IAS Test Series for UPSC Prelims Banner Ad
  • Context (TOI): A recently discovered ancient river in Antarctica is providing new insights into the continent’s climatic history.

Antarctica's lost river - PMF IAS

Credits: Phys

  • This river system was buried under ice for millions of years and offers a unique window into the past.
  • The river’s channels stretch over 680 miles (Similar to the Rio Grande River in the U.S.).
  • Until 100 million years ago, Antarctica constituted the central part of the supercontinent Gondwana.
  • After Gondwana’s breakup, Antarctica established itself as an independent continent.

West Antarctica

  • Also known as Lesser Antarctica, it is located in the Western Hemisphere.
  • It is separated from East Antarctica by the Transantarctic Mountains, covered by a massive ice sheet.
  • This mountain range has been uplifting since the late Eocene as the steep shoulder of a continental rift, the West Antarctic Rift System.

Inferences from findings

  • Evidence suggested that West Antarctica was a river delta or estuary 34 to 44 million years ago (Eocene).
  • It suggests that Antarctica once had a milder climate, with conditions that could support flowing water.
  • The existence of such a transcontinental river system shows that – unlike today – large parts of West Antarctica must have been located above sea level as extensive, flat coastal plains.
  • Due to the low topography, West Antarctica was still ice-free at the end of the Eocene, while the mountainous regions of East Antarctica were already beginning to glaciate.
  • Uplift and erosion of the Transantarctic Mountains have since produced erosion debris.
  • The newly discovered river transported more than 1,500 km through the West Antarctic Rift System into the Amundsen Sea and deposited it as a swampy river delta.

Rio Grande River

  • Location: North America. Origin: San Juan Mountains of Colorado, USA.
  • Also known as Rio Bravo in Mexico, it flows into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • As a border between the US and Mexico, it forms an entry point for illegal migrants.

Rio Grande River - PMF IAS

Sharing is Caring !!

Newsletter Updates

Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss an important update!

Assured Discounts on our New Products!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Never miss an important update!