Largest volcanic region on Earth found hiding beneath Antarctic ice

And no one even knew it was there. Researchers also suspect there are undiscovered underwater volcanoes in the region.  Includes video.

The largest volcanic region on Earth

And no one even knew it was there

Using ice-penetrating radar, Edinburgh University researchers have discovered 91 subglacial volcanoes hiding more than a mile (2km) below the surface of the west Antarctic ice sheet.

The volcanoes, which are considered active, range from about 330 feet (100m) to 12,600 feet (3850m) tall,  more than 1000 feet taller than Oregon’s Mt. Hood. Even at that height, the subglacial peaks are still covered by a dense layer of ice. (The ice is more than 2.4 miles (4km) thick in the region.)

“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.

“We were amazed,” said Bingham. “We had not expected to find anything like that number. We have almost trebled the number of volcanoes known to exist in west Antarctica.”

The researchers also suspect there are even more volcanoes rising from the sea floor beneath the Ross ice shelf. “(This) would make this region 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,” said Bingham.

In addition to the 91 newly discovered volcanoes, 47 volcanoes have been previously discovered in the region.

Gee, I wonder what is melting the ice?

Thanks to Ray Kraft, K.B., Jimmy Walter, George Martinez, Gregory Ludvigsen, ReadBill, Gordaon Broussard, Vance von Raab, Stephan Meijer, Stephen Bird, Vern Peterman and Don Brown for these links

“Here is even more vindication for this site,” says K.B.

“Of course, volcanoes are caused by CO2! Didn’t you know that?!” asks Jimmy.

See also:
Volcanoes melting Antarctic glaciers from below

Hot zone ‘like a blowtorch’ detected under Antarctica

10 thoughts on “Largest volcanic region on Earth found hiding beneath Antarctic ice”

  1. It is a pity that this paper is used by pro-warm media to show that soon West Antarctica may well be free from ice (as if because of combined efforts of CO2 and volcanoes).. From my point of view, such approach is very close to delusion.

  2. Pro-warmists use this article widely to “warn”, that West Antarctica may loose its ice cover even quicker than they had predicted: due to combined effect of CO2 and volcanoes. Such approach looks like a delusion to me, but is presented by media as very scientifical.

  3. Mt Erebus where the plane crashed some years ago is active n sends steam/smoke out still i gather
    when you look bigpicture wise
    its a continuation of the chain of vents n volcanos closing the thought to be open ended ring of fire.
    remember reading somewhere , prob WUWT a chap saying the past underwater chain of mountains would have influenced early ocean patterns and may at one time have been out of water and a whole differing scenario for how oceans flowed.
    amazing place our planet;-)

  4. If the level of volcanic activity beneath Antarctica sufficed to melt a significant volume of Ice, the resulting volcanic ejectae into the atmosphere would result in a cooling of the Earth’s surface lying beneath the ejectae for the reason of its blocking some solar radiation from reaching Earth.

  5. Since many years I am wondering if antarctica ice melting is related to heat flux from earth. Major melting areas are located over faults and geological structures. Now we start speaking about volcanoes. It goes wihout saying…

  6. What is probably the most interesting fact is the location of those volcanoes. They correlate with this:

    The regions singled out Steig et al. (2009) as showing increased “warming”. :
    Steig, E., Schneider, D., Rutherford, S., Mann, M., Comiso, J., and Shindell, D. (2009, January 22). Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year. Nature, 457, 459-463. doi:10.1038/nature07669.

    I can’t be sure without doing a lot more mathematics than I care to, but the odds of that being coincidental are extraordinarily low. It is also worth noting that Antarctica, covered with LOTS of ice, is still mapped as one of the regions of higher geothermal heat flow – the ENTIRE continent.

  7. Does this produce the massive increase in sea ice due to the increase outflow from the Antartica glaciers? Will this sea ice cause problems with mcmurdo station ship logistics? Will this cold southern ocean produce temperature differential cf the tropics that are ocean hot due to more undersea volcanos. Will This differential drive more storms?

  8. When Climate Alarmists prognosticate future temperatures, they presume that what had occurred (according to them) will follow the same trend on into even a century or more into the future… This mis-reasoning does not connect with longer term graphs of temperatures.. As is known, presenting narrow temperature windows of only a mere few decades .. is completely misleading.. The major reason why the Arctic and Antarctica are Cold .. connects with their positions at the Axis of Earth – relative to their direction to the Sun…

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