Operation Icebridge, Arctic Baffled NASA, NASA

Mysterious ice circles have appeared in the Arctic ice which has to make NASA scientists baffled. NASA’s Operation IceBridge which is an airborne mission and flown over both Polar Regions have found the ice circles in the Arctic region.

The circles are formed in the eastern Beaufort Sea which about 50 miles of northwest of Canada’s Mackenzie River Delta. The flight was flown to observe sea ice in an area which was not covered in a mission that was held during the year 2013.

NASA posted an image which shows “sorta circular” spots in the Arctic sea ice, but the officials do not know the exact reasons that may cause them. The features of the landscape that was captured during the annual mission known as Operation IceBridge, it circled the Arctic region during on April 14th and captured this image.

NASA was doing the operation over the Arctic and Antarctic regions so that it can understand the effect of the regions on the World’s climate system. The mission takes place every year over the Polar Regions and this year is the 10th anniversary of the Arctic mission. According to the space agency, they said that the Sonntag had noticed the unusual circles and holes from the P-3 research plane. The plane was flying over the Beaufort Sea’s eastern region when he notices the ice circles.

The image draws large speculation, and during research, they conclude that this might happen as the sea and ice in the area are young and constantly growing. So, there might be a linear area of open water or lead. Another study by scientists reveals that the hole might be due to the left-to-right motion of the top ice. The pattern which was formed by this ice is like “finger-rafting,” and this occurs when two pieces of floating ice sheets get collide with each other which cause blocks of ice to slide above and below each other. This sliding may generate this type of patterns.

According to NASA, the holes that are formed are difficult to explain, and they are formed by gnawing seals which create an open area where they can breathe.  When these creatures crawl up onto the ice from water, they splash water out onto the surface which forms the circle visible around the holes.

A study done by the Chris Shuman of University of Maryland Baltimore County said: “This is in pretty shallow water generally, so there is every chance this is just ‘warm springs’ or seeps of groundwater flowing from the mountains inland that make their presence known in this particular area.”


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