At least 138 volcanoes buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet

If a couple of these babies should pop off, we could be looking at lots more melting ice.

Scientists discover 91 volcanoes below Antarctic ice sheet,” read the headline in The Guardian on 12 Aug 2017.

This is in addition to the 47 subglacial volcanoes already known about in Antarctica, wrote Robin McKie.

This makes it the largest volcanic region on Earth, and it’s hidden 1.2 miles (2 km) below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica.

A project by Edinburgh University researchers revealed the 91 volcanoes – with the highest as tall as the Eiger, which stands at almost 4,000 meters (13,123 ft) in Switzerland.

Put another way, the highest of these newly discovered volcanoes stands more than two miles tall!

The tips of some of the volcanoes actually lie above the ice and have been spotted by polar explorers over the past century.

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

And the activity of this range could have worrying consequences, they warn. “If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica’s ice sheets,” said glacier expert Robert Bingham, one of the paper’s authors. “Anything that causes the melting of ice – which an eruption certainly would – is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea.

But how many lie below the ice? Max Van Wyk de Vries, who was then an undergraduate at the university’s school of geosciences and a self-confessed volcano fanatic, set up the project with the help of Bingham. They analysed measurements made by previous surveys using ice-penetrating radar, then compared the results with satellite and database records and geological information from other aerial surveys. “Essentially, we were looking for evidence of volcanic cones sticking up into the ice,” Bingham said..

These newly discovered volcanoes are all covered in ice, which sometimes lies in layers that are more than 2.5 miles (4km) thick in the region. These active peaks are concentrated in the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula.

“We were amazed,” Bingham said. “We had not expected to find anything like that number…. We also suspect there are even more on the bed of the sea that lies under the Ross ice shelf, so that I think it is very likely this region will turn out to be the densest region of volcanoes in the world, greater even than east Africa, where mounts Nyiragongo, Kilimanjaro, Longonot and all the other active volcanoes are concentrated.”

The discovery is particularly important because if heat from these volcanoes should melt the ice, meltwater outflows into the Antarctic ocean could trigger sea level rises. “We just don’t know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past,” Bingham said. “That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible.”

My question is, if we don’t even know for sure how many volcanoes may be lurking beneath the ice even today, how do we know how much ice they (and not humans) may be melting? We love blaming humans for outcomes driven by strictly natural forces.

See entire article by Robin McKie:

11 thoughts on “At least 138 volcanoes buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet”

  1. I did not know this, but I searched for when the last volcano erupted in Antarctica and to my surprise the answer is way way way back in 2015.

    You’d think that the super honest media and climate alarmist would list that as a potential cause of melting ice rather than bad humans.

    With all of our technology and expiration of this planet, there’s still sooo much to learn. I simply reject that people can tell me anything about what the climate will be like in 10+ or more years, especially when they can’t even get a 10 day forecast exactly right!

    I hope there is a return to normalcy in the scientific community, but I won’t hold my breath. I believe that more ingenuity would come about if agenda driven climate alarmist would spend more time making the internal combustion engine more efficient and “cleaner” rather than trying to eliminate by spending there efforts fabricating data to fit their agenda of creating “global warming” .

    • AND if just one of these Volcanoes pops its top, the cold water flowing into the Earth’s oceans would lower the temp very quickly.

      • “the cold water flowing into the Earth’s oceans would lower the temp very quickly.”

        If the ocean water gets cooler, it will also sink the sea level.

    • Remember these very same scientists and institutions were warning us of a new ice age back in the 70’s. Then it suddenly became more profitable to to talk about global warming. Funny that.

    • Eric, you seem interested in the subject enough for me to suggest you take a look at SuspiciousObservers(dot)org. Daily news (4-5 min.), covering multiple subjects through all interrelated. There certainly is a learning curve but the truth is the objective. Check it out.

  2. Is anyone concerned about a desalination event if enough Antarctic ice is melted by volcanoes?

  3. This is an example of what is wrong with government driven ideas.

    In 1993 some influential engineer in the Queensland government convinced the political class that where I live in Caloundra required a new train service to Brisbane some 100 km away.

    His group designed a route which required a 40 km viaduct from a town named Beerwah to Caloundra to give the line height over low lying coastal plains subject to occasional tidal inundation and to climb to a height where they could tunnel through a hill.

    It required another 20 km viaduct to bring the line down to Earth to Maroochydore.

    The transport capacity studies carried out indicated this double train line would never ever even recover construction costs let alone running costs.

    But because it was someone’s wet dream it was pushed and adopted by government.

    Construction was supposed to finish in 2015 – a 22 year time frame.

    Not one stone has been turned as of 2021 YET the idea is trotted out every few years.

    It will never happen because it is stupid beyond belief – there are cheaper and better solutions.

    It is just like climate “science” – stupidity pushed because a few fuckwits seek fame and fortune conning a gullible audience of politicians, “award winning” (read idiotic) media “journalists” and the sheeple.

  4. Nothing to see here. With a polar shift, the ice will form in other continents as the ice under these volcanos melts. The change in salinity to the Atlantic should do all kinds of interesting things to ocean current oscillations. And all that fresh water should re freeze again before departing into the Atlantic and cooling things down a bit more. Just thinking a couple steps ahead.

Comments are closed.