Scientists have discovered a frozen underworld beneath the ice sheet covering northern Greenland.

The previously unknown landscape, a vast expanse of warped shapes, including some as tall as a Manhattan skyscraper, was found using ice-penetrating radar loaded aboard Nasa survey flights.

The findings and the first images of the frozen world more than a mile below the surface of the ice sheet are published on June 15 in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Scientists said the findings could deepen understanding of how the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica respond to climate change.

“We see more of these features where the ice sheet starts to go fast,” Robin Bell, the study’s lead author and a geophysicist at Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, said in a statement.

“We think the refreezing process uplifts, distorts and warms the ice above, making it softer and easier to flow.”— © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2014