– Beneath our feet there is a huge world we still know very little about. Scientists are learning more and more about this mysterious subterranean world that could shed light on the past and help us improve the future.
Researchers from Denmark have now announced they have discovered several remarkable underground valleys.
The discovery is surprising because Denmark is a rather flat country. However, according to researchers the buried valleys were created during the last Ice Age.
The last glacial period, popularly known as the Ice Age, was the most recent glacial period, which occurred from c. 110,000 to 12,000 years ago.
About 1 million years ago our planet experienced an Ice Age every 40,000 years when vast ice sheets covered North America, Europe and Asia. Suddenly the Ice Age intervals changed from every 40,000 years to every 100,000 years.
Why the intervals changed was long a problem scientists couldn’t solve, but today researchers know why we have an Ice Age every 100,000 years.
Danish scientists have now mapped 40 % of the underground area they are currently investigating and found at least 5,600 kilometers of valleys.
The mapping project started in 1998 and is financed by the Danish Nature Agency.
“The discovery is spectacular. It’s really important for our understanding of the top 400 meters of the Danish underground,” says Senior Advisor Peter Sandersen, from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.
The buried valleys vary in depth with the deepest features exceeding 350 m. The width is generally between 0.5 and 1.5 km, but widths of up to 4 km occur. The valleys were mainly eroded by meltwater supposed to have drained from subglacially stored reservoirs, probably behind a frozen margin.
There are many reasons why scientists have to continue the investigation of the underground valleys.
For one thing, they can learn how the geology fits together in Denmark, and how the hills and landscape formed. Another goal is to find out if the geological layers inside underground valleys provide important access to drinking water. If so, researchers can help people in poorer country by teaching how clean water can be accessed from underground.
Underground we find much more than just a huge molten iron river that is currently heading toward Europe at a high speed.
The truth is that we can find plenty of water underground. The world’s underground largest lake for example is inside Dragon’s Breath Cаvе.
We also know that the world’s longest underground river flows beneath the Yucatán Peninsula.
Geologists are by no means the only scientists who find water underground. Archaeologists excavating at the Mayan ruin site of Palenque have also discovered mysterious underground water tunnels under Lord Pakal’s tomb.
The underground world is yet greatly unexplored.