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Science & Technology

91 volcanoes discovered beneath Antarctic ice

By T.K. Randall
August 13, 2017 · Comment icon 13 comments



The volcanoes are hidden beneath the ice. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jason Auch
Scientists have uncovered what is now believed to be the largest volcanic region on the planet.
The discovery, which emphasizes just how much there is still to learn about Antarctica, was made following a remote survey of the region by researchers from the University of Edinburgh.

Found within an area known as the West Antarctic Rift System, the volcanoes range in height from 100m to 3,850m and bear similarities to those found in east Africa's volcanic ridge.

The survey, which involved measuring the shape of the land using ice-penetrating radar, was carried out following a suggestion by third-year university student Max Van Wyk de Vries.
"Antarctica remains among the least studied areas of the globe, and as a young scientist I was excited to learn about something new and not well understood," he said.

"After examining existing data on West Antarctica, I began discovering traces of volcanism. Naturally I looked into it further, which led to this discovery of almost 100 volcanoes under the ice sheet."

It is currently unclear whether or not the newly discovered volcanoes are still active.

Source: Independent | Comments (13)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #4 Posted by Ashotep 6 years ago
Earth warms up causing glaciers to melt and volcanoes to explode, megatons of ash goes into atmosphere causing another ice age and the cycle continues, hopefully with man still in the picture.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin 6 years ago
Fun Fact: Quoted Source: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/icebridge/multimedia/fall11/antarctica-US.html -------------------------------------- "Antarctica is the highest, driest, coldest, windiest and brightest of the seven continents. It is roughly the size of the United States and Mexico combined and is almost completely covered by a layer of ice that averages more than one mile in thickness, but is nearly three miles thick in places. This ice accumulated over millions of years through snowfall. Presently, the Antarctic ice sheet contains 90% of the ice on Earth and would raise sea levels... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by taniwha 6 years ago
Maybe this is what killed the dinosaurs.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
I don't think that is a true statement.   How much it affects global warming or global cooling is debatable, but when a volcano spews 200 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it is more than "nothing".   Still not close to what humans are doing. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Myles 6 years ago
Gotcha.   I took your statement wrong.    I agree with you on this.     I do wonder, can a 1 mile think layer of ice "seal" a volcano from erupting?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Doug1029 6 years ago
Yes and no.  If the ice overburden melts, an eruption becomes more likely because of the reduced pressure on the magma.  An eruption discharges ash and CO2 into the air.  In the short run, the ash restricts incoming radiation, cooling the planet, but in the long run, the ash settles out leaving CO2 which warms the planet.  The Little Ice Age was caused by a combination of reduced solar input and four volcanic eruptions, ash from which cooled the planet, setting off an Arctic ice feedback loop which further cooled the planet.  This was reversed when solar radiation increased after the Dalton Mi... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Doug1029 6 years ago
Weather disturbances caused by Krakatoa (1883) produced the worst winter storm in American history in 1886.  Heavy snowfall in late January was added to an already-heavy snow load.  In early February there followed four days of balmy weather that melted the snow into slush.  Then the bottom fell out of the thermometer.  Wichita (Wichita Eagle) reported 42 degrees below zero.  The Hopkinsville Gazette (Kentucky) reported 40 degrees below.  Washington DC reported 40 degrees below and the Portsmouth (New Hampshire) harbor froze over for the only time in its history.  In Wyoming, a stage-coach mad... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by CeresExpo2000 6 years ago
I think that was a meteorite that crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Captain Risky 6 years ago
and a good percentage of that headed towards Australia. i curse you Trump.  
Comment icon #13 Posted by Ashotep 6 years ago
From the OP article.  


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