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Dry valleys, Antarctica

Dry valleys, Antarctica


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Dry valleys, Antarctica, satellite image. At upper left are the McMurdo Dry Valleys (brown). They lie in a region of the Transantarctic Mountains next to the Ross Ice Shelf. The mountains rise over the snow and ice (white). Glaciers (centre and centre right) flow off the Antarctic plateau, down to the Ross Ice Shelf. The McMurdo Dry Valleys have rock barriers that keep them ice-free. For a few summer weeks, temperatures are warm enough to melt the ice and supply freshwater lakes in the dry valleys and support a unique ecology. The longest valley is around 80 kilometres long. Image acquired on 18 December 1999 by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) sensor on NASA's Landsat 7 satellite.

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