Published On: Sun, May 3rd, 2015

A glacier that bleeds?

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Look up images of “Blood Falls Glacier” and the images you will come across will make you think whether the place is real or a horror movie set. The place is 100% real and is in Antarctica.

The Taylor Glacier is an Antarctic glacier about 54 kilometres (34 mi) long, flowing from the plateau of Victoria Land into the western end of Taylor Valley, north of the Kukri Hills, south of the Asgard Range. The middle part of the glacier is bounded on the north by the Inland Forts and on the south by Beacon Valley.

The Blood Falls

Blood Falls is an outflow of an iron oxide-tainted plume of saltwater, flowing from the tongue of Taylor Glacier onto the ice-covered surface of West Lake Bonney in the Taylor Valley of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Victoria Land, East Antarctica.

Why does it happen?

Iron-rich hypersaline water sporadically emerges from small fissures in the ice cascades. The saltwater source is a subglacial pool of unknown size overlain by about 400 metres (1,300 ft) of ice several kilometers from its tiny outlet at Blood Falls.
Poorly soluble hydrous ferric oxides are deposited at the surface of ice after the ferrous ions present in the unfrozen saltwater are oxidized in contact with atmospheric oxygen. The more soluble ferrous ions initially are dissolved in old seawater trapped in an ancient pocket remaining from the Antarctic Ocean when a fjord was isolated by the glacier in its progression during the Miocene period, some 5 million years ago when the sea level was higher than today.

References from: Wikipedia(Taylor Glacier, Blood Falls)

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