Research has discovered more insight into the mysterious Blood Falls of the Taylor Glacier found over a century ago.
Discovered in the early 1900s, over 106 years ago, Griffith Taylor found the 34-mile-long polar glacier releasing red water rich in iron into the West Lake Bonney. Taylor thought algae was the reason for the red color.
However, in 2003 researchers had decided that the red color was coming from oxidized iron and water from a five-million-year-old saltwater lake. When the iron makes contact with the air, in other words, oxygen, it oxidizes the iron which is the same process giving iron the same dark red color when it rusts.
Adding some insight into the mystery of nature is a new study from University of Alaska Fairbanks and Colorado College. Researchers used a radio-echo sounding, echolocation, to track where exactly the flow of the Blood Falls, red water, was coming from.
They discovered that the Taylor Glacier not only had a lake under it but there was a unique briney water system which is likely to have been active for over a million years.
The reason for the water has not frozen is because of the perpetual hydraulic system which sees the heated energy released by the freezing water. The saltiness of the water has lower freezing temperatures making it possible for the water to continuously flow.
Although, there have been researchers who smash the idea of the water flowing in the cold glacier. According to the co-author, Christina Carr, a doctoral student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks states that the Taylor Glacier is known to be the coldest glacier with water flowing from it.
With this new discovery of the Blood Falls, it is a time capsule of ancient microbial systems giving scientists new ways to study the possibilities of life on other planets without having the need to drill ice caps, which disrupts the surface.
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