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Volcano in deep Antarctic ice sheet

26 Nov

volcano Live volcano is spewing magma at a depth of over a mile below a huge ice sheet. It is an unprecedented discovery which points to the possibility of a major eruption, but with totally unpredictable consequences. 

A team of seismologists led by Douglas Wiens of Washington University made the discovery after detecting a series of earthquakes of low magnitude in the West Antarctica – the type of earthquakes that often precede volcanic eruptions. The researchers ruled out the possibility that these events that were occurring at a depth of 15 to 25 miles (25-40 km) below the sub-glacial surface were caused by earthquakes of glacial ice movement or activity tectonics due to deep and long period waves. Due to these quakes were happening near the boundary between the crust and mantle of the Earth, is further raised the intriguing possibility that is related to volcanic activity.

The discovery of the volcano, which lies about half a mile below the ice, has reinforced the long held suspicion that volcanic activity lies along the ice sheet of West Antarctica . The region has several volcanoes along the coast and offshore, but this is the first time scientists have confirmed the magnetic action so far inland. then what happens when a volcano erupts so far under ice? Scientists speculate that the liquid magma and underground force to break new ground and fractured rock causing seismic activity. If the volcano were to experience a severe rash, would probably have to melt the bottom of the ice immediately above the vent. But what was going to happen, nobody knows .

Interestingly, Iceland sometimes experienced massive flooding call . This happens when volcanoes melted glaciers, resulting in a tremendous release of melt water. But obviously, if the volcano in Antarctica and layer half mile of ice above him, would have a tremendous explosion happen to cede or to melt – something like an event Yellowstone caldera . If this happens, it could lead to rapid melting of ice and a dramatic rise in sea levels.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Atlantic, Nature

 

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