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'The Mysterious Mountains'



Gamburtsev! Even the name sounds mysterious doesn't it? Nothing like Adams or Rainier or Whitney, or even Mordor from Lord of the Rings. Gamburtsev! Yet Beth and I think the name is kind of cool because they are named for a famous Russian geophysicist, and that makes us feel right at home! Although, it is easy to think of the mountains being ghostly or mysterious when you imagine them entombed in ice. They are frozen into what amounts to a HUGE block of ice, SO large it is referred to as a continental ice sheet, covering almost the entire continent of Antarctica (The East Antarctic Ice Sheet). They have been frozen inside this ice sheet for millions of years so no one has ever seen them, just ghostly reflections imaged through the ice! Click on the image above to enlarge this magnificent section of the Gamburstev's.

If the mountains are hidden how do scientists know they are there? About 50 years ago a group of Russian scientists was traveling over this area setting off explosions and listening to the echo, to hear how far down the sound had to travel to reach rock under the ice. Hearing how quickly the sound bounced back, they realized land was much closer to the surface under this section of ice - mountain peaks! But since that time no one had been back to learn more about these mountains until the AGAP team we are with returned. To ‘see’ the mountains we will use several of our 'tools of the trade'. Let's check out more about these mountains.

Let's try some activities and answer some questions by clicking on the photos below!
hazymtns Mountains in an icy tomb! mountainrange How do the Gamburtsev peaks compare to peaks in your area?
mountains Radar Ghost hunting: Finding Hidden Mountains! DecontePollard Using mountains to build an ice sheet.
collision Forming a mountain range in the middle of East Antarctica    
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