91 volcanoes discovered beneath Antarctica ice
Scientists have identified 91 volcanoes hidden beneath the massive ice sheet covering west Antarctica, revealing one of the world’s largest volcanic regions.
The volcanoes could comprise the densest region of volcanoes in the world, rivaling even the east Africa area where Mount Kilimanjaro is found, researchers at Edinburgh University told the Guardian.
The dozens of newly determined formations nearly double the 47 volcanoes previously located in west Antarctica, with the newly identified volcanoes towering up to 2.4 miles high. One big question remaining from the discovery, which scientists detailed in their study: Are the volcanoes still active?
“If one of these volcanoes were to erupt, it could further destabilize west Antarctica’s ice sheets,” co-author Robert Bingham, a glacial expert, told the Guardian, resulting in melted ice that could raise sea levels.
Additional study is needed to determine whether the volcanoes are active. The study’s authors theorize that the loss of an icy covering over the volcanoes, spurred perhaps by future activity, could lead the volcanoes to becoming more active.