Scientists find 91 new volcanoes under Antarctic ice sheet

Scientists find 91 new volcanoes under Antarctic ice sheet

Scientists find 91 new volcanoes under Antarctic ice sheet

Geologists and ice experts say the range has similarities to east Africa's volcanic ridge, now thought to be "the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world", reports The Independent. More to the point, the discovery could be bad news, the scientists 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. This may also speed up the outflow of ice to sea. The team's results do not indicate whether the volcanoes are active, but should inform ongoing research into seismic monitoring in the area. "That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible", Bingham added.

A study conducted by researchers from the University of Edinburgh's School of GeoSciences has revealed that West Antarctic Rift System (WARS) is home to one of the largest volcanic ranges on Earth, with over 100 volcanoes.

Over the past century, explorers have reported sightings of their tips, which reach above the ice. In fact, the volcanoes themselves could act as a kind of brake by making the terrain more uneven and inhibiting the flow of ice.

The idea to look for further volcanoes beneath the ice sheet came from a third-year student at the University of Edinburgh, Max Van Wyk de Vries. He set up the project with the help of Bingham.

Researchers involved with the study pointed out that once ice retreats, it continues unabated as long as the ice bed remains smooth and it slopes down inland.

The researchers analyzed the land's shape under the ice using ice-penetrating radar and compared the findings with satellite and database records, along with geological information from aerial surveys.

The dozens of newly determined formations almost double the 47 volcanoes previously located in West Antarctica, with the newly identified volcanoes towering up to 2.4 miles in height.

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Tillerson said Wednesday as he returned from an Asia trip he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat". It is now far stronger and more powerful than ever before.

The volcanoes range in height from 100m to a towering 3,850m tall.

Over 90 volcanoes under Antarctic were recently discovered by scientists.

"We were amazed. We had not expected to find anything like that number", Bingham told The Guardian.

Nearly 100 volcanoes are hiding below the surface of Antarctica. It can lead to rise in the sea level which s already affecting our oceans.

'We just don't know about how active these volcanoes have been in the past. Those areas include Iceland and Alaska.

Researchers say the discovery could help them better understand how Antarctica has changed during the varying climates of history, and how volcanoes influence ice sheet fluctuations.

Volcanic activity may increase if Antarctica's ice thins, which is likely in a warming climate, scientists say.

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