Science: Stay-at-Home-Explorer

Without leaving comfortable Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England, Physicist J. F. Nye took a crack at a new kind of Arctic exploration. Using the integrations of abstruse equations, he ranged over Greenland's great icecap, checking the observations of scientists who had made the trip in person. In Nature magazine, Dr. Nye reports his findings. Greenland, he concludes, is probably a mountain range rising from the sea, surrounding a vast, frozen, inland lake.

Greenland's glacial blanket, explains Dr. Nye, tends to spread out and flow downhill because of its own weight. But this movement is balanced by the rock floor compressed under centuries...

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