NASA Spotted An Uncharted Territory In Antarctica – The Sif Island

sif island

It might sound like wonderful good news but it isn’t exactly so. Sif Island is a recently formed island. Located in Antarctica’s Pine Island Bay of the Amundsen Sea, Sif Island was formerly surrounded by the Pine Island Glacier.

In six years of constant observation, the glacier melted, thus releasing Sif from the glacial pressure. The process is called post-glacial rebound and it is described as the retreating of the glaciers that relieve the pressure they put on the ground. As a consequence, the ground rises. Seals seem to enjoy this big land change and made Sif Island a home.

In Sif Island’s case, a 1,150 feet long piece of the ground has arisen. It is made of volcanic granite and still covered in ice. The transformation was observed by NASA’s Landsat satellite since 2014. The island was discovered by the Thwaites Glacier Offshore Research Project (THOR) in February 2020. The process was reported by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

Sif Island Is The Newly Found Island In Antarctica

The satellite’s six years observation shows the separation of the island as “it emerged slowly from a stretch of coast between the Thwaites and Pine Island glaciers in West Antarctica. Landsat imagery shows it fully detached in 2014,” stated USGS.

Pine Island Bay together with Thwaites Glacier forms a dangerous couple. They are the weak spots of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Melting at an incredibly fast rate, they cause the sea levels to rise by 8 mm every year. This constitutes a menace for coastal cities to be submerged by the end of the century. New York is one of those coastal cities.

“THOR became the first humans to see the island for what it was,” so maybe this is why the island was dubbed Sif Island. Sif is a mythological goddess of Earth and the wife of Thor. In Germanic mythology, they are the pair of gods corresponding to the Greek pair made of Zeus and Hera, the lords of the gods.

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