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Robot Submarine Snaps First Images at Foundation of Antarctic Glacier

By Georgia Tech College of Sciences

February 10, 2020

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A robotic submarine engineered by Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) researchers has captured the first-ever images of the foundations on the ocean floor of the Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica, in the hope of assessing the glacier's condition and its potential to contribute to rising sea levels.

The Icefin robotic submarine traveled more than 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) round trip during five missions in which it took photos of the glacier's grounding line (foundations) as part of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration.

Said Georgia Tech's Britney Schmidt, “It's the first time anyone has done that or has ever even seen the grounding zone of a major glacier under the water, and that’s the place where the greatest degree of melting and destabilization can occur.”

From Georgia Tech College of Sciences
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