The mysteries of Antarctic volcanism

We really don’t know much about the current and ancient volcanism on Antarctica, but researchers from British Antarctic Survey claim they have found evidence of subglacial eruptions in western Antarctica, mostly in the form of ash and volcanic debris intercalated with the ice. It would not be surprising if there was active volcanism underneath the ice sheets of the continent. However, they then take it one (or multiple) step(s) further by saying that this subglacial volcanism might explain the warming seen on the western side of the continent. Now, that would be very surprising as the commentary on the news report details. Antarctica is definitely a big black hole in terms of what sort of volcanism to expect beyond Erebus.


  1. #1 Thomas Donlon
    January 26, 2009

    Hi Erik, this is fascinating. When I have the time I check out about 25 different science sites in addition to my core staple of volcano and earthquake reading. In them, I’ve seen reports of a large volcanic chain under the Arctic. I’ve also come across a report of a believed volcano (or warm spot) under Greenland in spot where rapid ice movement originates.

    Geologists are in a unique position to understand earth’s history and read the records of the past.

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