Here's what Antarctica looks like without all the ice

A new map by created the British Antarctic Survey has revealed what Aantarctica would look like without all of that ice.

The map's name is Bedrock 2, and it shows an incredibly mountainous terrain.

Many of Antarctica's mountains were formed well before the continent became a frozen tundra, and were buried as the continent drifted southwards over time.

Bedmap 2, according to, is the product of three types of data: surface elevation, ice thickness and bedrock typography. Those measurements were taken by a variety of means - from airplanes and surface surveys to satellites - to produce a higher-resolution map of the continent.

"The shape of the bed is the most important unknown, and affect how ice can flow," Sophie Nowicki, NASA ice sheet specialist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center said in a NASA blog post. "You can influence how honey spreads on your plate, by simply varying how you hold your plate."

NASA, in particular, contributed to the survey with its Operation IceBridge data. That data was accumulated over a series of flights using a particular type of radar known as the Multichannel Coherent Radar Depth Sounder - allowing scientists to penetrate the ice - which can, at times, be as thick as a mile -covering most of Antarctica in order to gather info on the subglacial terrain. The radar also allows scientists to measure the surface ice and internal layering of an ice sheet.

Antarctica is covered by, essentailly, one massive ice sheet - a product of accumulated, then compacted, snow. Ice sheets, while appearing solid at first glance, are quite fluid, expanding outwards due to their own weight. In the case of Antarctica, these shifting sheets can end up in the ocean before breaking off to form icebergs and melting.

By mapping out Antarctica's terrain, scientists can better measure and track the flow of ice. Such measurements can help researchers track how fast the ice will move across the frozen terrain and into a nearby ocean, and consequently, how the ice could contribute to sea level rise and impact the globe's climate in the future.

Polar ice melt, according to National Geographic, has contributed to about 0.03 feet in global sea levels since 1992.

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