Scientists have created a three-dimensional map of one of the hidden valleys under the sea floor in the North Sea, which was created by a channel of thaws of water under the ancient ice cover.
A new study showed that hidden valleys buried beneath the bottom of the ocean in the North Sea quickly cut out water during the "Agony" of the ancient ice shield at the end of the last ice age about 20,000 years ago, and researchers say that amazing underground structures can provide insight into how modern structures will react to the rapid warming caused by climate change.
These tunnel valleys are massive underground ravines that have been sliced into the ancient sea floor with thaws of water that flowed into the canals under the ice shields, and the enormous gravity of the rapidly melting breezes has forced the current water to cut deep canyons into the seabed, and since then these canals have been covered by hundreds of metres of drapes. According to researchers, the tunnel valleys can reach 150 km in length, 6 km in width, and 500 m deep.
In 2021, researchers from the British Antarctic Service mapd a network of tunnel valleys in the North Sea once covered by a massive ice shield, which also covered parts of continental Europe and Great Britain during the last ice age, ranging from 126,000 to 12,000 years ago, using three-dimensional seismic reflection technology that emits sound waves to scan structures under the seabed, scientists discovered thousands of buried canyons, some of which are about 2 million years old.
In a new study that scientists published in Quaterary Science Reviews, the same researchers used canyon maps in combination with computer models. The goal is to determine exactly how some of the tunnel valleys developed. The results showed that they had appeared over several centuries. This is much faster than scientists originally expected.