Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















First Evidence Of Under-Ice Volcanic Eruption In Antarctica

The West Antarctic Ice Sheet
by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Jan 22, 2008
The first evidence of a volcanic eruption from beneath Antarctica's most rapidly changing ice sheet is reported this week in the journal Nature Geosciences. The volcano on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet erupted 2000 years ago (325BC) and remains active. Using airborne ice-sounding radar, scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered a layer of ash produced by a 'subglacial' volcano. It extends across an area larger than Wales.

Lead author, Hugh Corr of the BAS says, "The discovery of a 'subglacial' volcanic eruption from beneath the Antarctic ice sheet is unique in itself. But our techniques also allow us to put a date on the eruption, determine how powerful it was and map out the area where ash fell. We believe this was the biggest eruption in Antarctica during the last 10,000 years. It blew a substantial hole in the ice sheet, and generated a plume of ash and gas that rose around 12 km into air."

The discovery is another vital piece of evidence that will help determine the future of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and refine predictions of future sea-level rise. Co-author Professor David Vaughan (BAS) says,

"This eruption occurred close to Pine Island Glacier on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. The flow of this glacier towards the coast has speeded up in recent decades and it may be possible that heat from the volcano has caused some of that acceleration. However, it cannot explain the more widespread thinning of West Antarctic glaciers that together are contributing nearly 0.2mm per year to sea-level rise. This wider change most probably has its origin in warming ocean waters."

The volcano is located beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet in the Hudson Mountains at latitude 74.6South, longitude 97West. Volcanoes are an important component of the Antarctic region. They formed in diverse tectonic settings, mainly as a result of mantle plumes acting on the stationary Antarctic plate.

The region also includes amongst the world's best examples of a long-lived continental margin arc (Antarctic Peninsula), a very young marginal basin (Bransfield Strait) and an oceanic island arc (South Sandwich Islands). Many extinct volcanoes are very well preserved and others are still active (e.g. Deception Island, Mount Erebus, and the South Sandwich Islands).

Volcanic eruptions were common during the past 25 million years, and coincided with the great period of climatic deterioration that resulted in the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet. Many of the volcanoes show the effects of interaction with ice. BAS has played a major role in describing these effects and modelling their influences on the resulting volcanic sequences. It is important to describe and understand these interactions in geologically recent times in order to predict future configurations of the ice sheet and its role in the global system.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Related Links
British Antarctic Survey
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Eight thousand evacuated as Colombian volcano erupts
Bogota (AFP) Jan 18, 2008
Some 8,000 people living near the Galeras volcano on the southern border with Ecuador were evacuated as a precaution late Thursday after the mountain erupted causing no reported injuries, officials said.







  • Weary civilians at mercy of Gaza conflict
  • Philippines: Japan lends 174.6 million dlrs for volcano relief
  • Natural disasters taking greater global toll, UN report
  • High spirits drive speedy recovery after Indonesian quake

  • Carbon Disclosure Project to assess world business CO2 footprint
  • Spanish study warns of rising Mediterranean sea levels
  • 2007 Was Tied As Earth's Second Warmest Year
  • North American Birds Moving North As A Result Of Climate Change

  • SPACEHAB Subsidiary Wins NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory Contract
  • Radical New Lab Fights Disease Using Satellites
  • SKorea decides to terminate satellite: space agency
  • Japanese satellite flops at map-making: official

  • DOE Releases Soybean Genome Assembly To Support Global Bioenergy Efforts
  • EU seeking greener energy but nuclear option fuels dissent
  • Coal-fired Poland in fighting mood over EU emissions rules
  • Iowa Testing Hybrid Fueled School Buses

  • Epidemic superbug strains evolved from one bacterium: study
  • Researchers Put The Bite On Mosquitoes
  • Exploration Of Lake Hidden Beneath Antarctica's Ice Sheet Begins
  • Monkey Malaria Widespread In Humans And Potentially Fatal

  • Bouncing Back From The Brink
  • Marsupial Lion Tops African Lion In Fight To Death
  • Predators Do More Than Kill Prey
  • Climate Influence On Deep Sea Populations

  • Japanese media criticises companies over fake 'recycled' goods
  • Obsolete Infrastructure Can Help Environment
  • Delhi residents cough, wheeze as pollution soars
  • Herons Persist In Chicago Wetlands Despite Exposure To Banned Chemicals

  • Higher China fines for stars breaking one-child rule: state media
  • Fueling And Feeding Bigfoot
  • English to be the world's 'language of choice': British PM
  • Contact Lenses With Circuits Lights A Possible Platform For Superhuman Vision

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement