Scientists discover 91 volcanoes underneath Antarctica

Aug 14, 2017 14:18 IST
Scientists discover 91 volcanoes underneath Antarctica

A group of scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth, only two kilometres underneath the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica.

A paper published by a research team from Edinburgh University revealed that there are 91 volcanoes under the ice sheets in the west of Antarctica. These are in addition to the 47 already known in the region.

The largest volcano stands at almost 4000 metres, which is taller than Aoraki Mount Cook (3724 metres tall), which is New Zealand's highest peak.

Geologists say that this huge region is likely to dwarf that of east Africa’s volcanic ridge, currently rated the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world.

The discovery added to the growing concern for a region already affected by climate change. The scientists have said that if one were to erupt it could further destabilise the ice sheets.

CA eBook

Key highlights

The study involved analysing measurements made by previous surveys, which involved the use of ice-penetrating radar, carried either by planes or land vehicles, to survey strips of the west Antarctic ice.

The results were then compared with satellite and database records and geological information from other aerial surveys.

After the team had collated the results, it reported 91 previously unknown volcanoes, adding to the 47 others that had been discovered over the previous century of exploring the region.

These newly discovered volcanoes range in height from 100 to 3850 metres.

All these volcanoes are covered in ice, which sometimes lies in layers that are more than 4 km thick in the region.

The active peaks are concentrated in a region known as the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3500 km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula.

Source: The Guardian

Quick Digest

Who: 91 volcanoes

Where: Underneath Antarctica

What: Discovered

Is this article important for exams ? Yes3 People Agreed
Read more Current Affairs on: Antarctica , Volcano , Active Volcanoes , Global Warming

DISCLAIMER: JPL and its affiliates shall have no liability for any views, thoughts and comments expressed on this article.

Latest Videos

Register to get FREE updates

    All Fields Mandatory
  • (Ex:9123456789)
  • Please Select Your Interest
  • Please specify

  • ajax-loader
  • A verifcation code has been sent to
    your mobile number

    Please enter the verification code below

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK