Nasa and the British Antarctic Survey have produced an amazing new view of what Antarctica looks like under the ice.

Unlike the North Pole, which in winter is a frozen sea surrounded by land, the southern pole is a continent-shaped lump of rock, covered in (currently) permanent ice up to 2km thick.

But that hasn't always been the case, and with rising global temperatures the ice there is slowly starting to disappear. Before it does, scientists want to understand what lies beneath the ice sheet in more detail, so they can model how it might react to warmer weather.

Using a new datasate called Bedmap2, incorporating Nasa's Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) and ice thickness data gathered by Operation IceBridge, the British Antarctic Survey have produced a vastly improved picture of the continental bedrock.

Universe Today recently featured the work after it appeared in the Cyrosphere journal.

Peter Fretwell, from the British Antarctic Survey, said:

"The new Bedmap shows, with unprecedented detail, the bedrock beneath the ice sheets of Antarctica. Before we had a regional overview of the topography, but this new map, with its much higher resolution, shows the landscape itself; a complex landscape of mountains, hills and rolling plains, dissected by valleys troughs and deep gorges."

Take a look at the team's work, above.

antarctica

Above: Antarctica without the ice

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  • In this Dec. 1, 2009 photo provided by Aurora Expeditions, an inflatable boat carries tourists past an iceberg along the Antarctic Peninsula. In a remote, frozen, almost pristine land where the only human residents are involved in research, tourism comes with risks, for both the continent and the tourists. (AP Photo/Aurora Expeditions, Andrew Halsall)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, the distant Royal Society Range, photographed from Ross Island, Antarctica, soars 4,200 meters (13,200 feet) above the ice-clogged waters of McMurdo Sound. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Dec. 2, 2009 photo provided by Aurora Expeditions, an inflatable boat carries tourists past an iceberg along the Antarctic Peninsula. In a remote, frozen, almost pristine land where the only human residents are involved in research, tourism comes with risks, for both the continent and the tourists. (AP Photo/Aurora Expeditions, Andrew Halsall)

  • In this Dec. 3, 2009 photo provided by Aurora Expeditions, tourists paddle their kayak along the Antarctic Peninsula. In a remote, frozen, almost pristine land where the only human residents are involved in research, tourism comes with risks, for both the continent and the tourists. (AP Photo/Aurora Expeditions, Andrew Halsall)

  • This Jan. 19, 2013 photo shows New Zealand's Scott Base on Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, a Hagglunds over-snow vehicle is photographed from a similar vehicle traveling in convoy on a sightseeing journey along Hut Point Peninsula of Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Jan. 20, 2013 photo, tourists scale Crater Hill toward Castle Rock on Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • This Jan. 20, 2013 photo shows tourists near Castle Rock on Crater Hill on Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, sightseers board an over-snow vehicle on Hut Point Peninsula of Ross Island in Antarctica. Tourism in Antarctica is rebounding five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, a sightseeing helicopter lands near New Zealand's Scott Base on Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, a downhill ski run photographed from an over-snow vehicle near New Zealand's Scott Base on Ross Island in Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, cross-country skiers pass a survival shelter on Hut Point Peninsula of Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013 photo, U.S. research personnel from McMurdo Station scale nearby Castle Rock for recreation on Ross Island, Antarctica. Tourism is rebounding here five years after the financial crisis stifled what had been a burgeoning industry. And it’s not just retirees watching penguins from the deck of a ship. Visitors are taking tours inland and even engaging in “adventure tourism” like skydiving and scuba diving under the ever-sunlit skies of a Southern Hemisphere summer. (AP Photo/Rod McGuirk)

  • In this Monday, Feb. 6, 2012 photo provided by Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of St. Petersburg, Russian researchers at the Vostok station in Antarctica pose for a picture after reaching subglacial lake Vostok. Scientists hold the sign reading "05.02.12, Vostok station, boreshaft 5gr, lake at depth 3769.3 meters." Russian scientists said Monday that a new form of microbial life has been found in water samples taken from the giant freshwater lake hidden under kilometers of Antarctic ice. (AP Photo/Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Press Service, HO)