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This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Water moving between subglacial lakes can explain elevation changes in ice stream surfaces. This animation shows modeled behavior of subglacial lakes. Depending on the pressure of overlying ice, water can pool in unusual places. Unlike a water body with no ice overhead, a subglacial lake might form on the top of a hill if it is surrounded by ice that exerts tremendous pressure. (Animation courtesy Susan Twardy, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The original files are available for download.)