Active Volcano Found Under Antarctic Ice: Eruption Could Raise Sea Levels
Inevitable eruption will speed up ice loss on frozen continent, study says.
The finding, detailed in the current issue of Nature Geoscience, marks the first time that an active volcano has been discovered under the ice of the frozen continent. (Also see "Giant Undersea Volcanoes Found Off Antarctica.")
When it erupts—which no one can predict—the volcano "will create millions of gallons of water beneath the ice—many lakes full," study leader Doug Wiens, professor of earth and planetary science at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement.
This water will rush beneath the ice toward the sea and feed into one of the major ice streams that drain ice from Antarctica into the Ross Ice Shelf, Wiens explained.
The new volcano's discovery was accidental. In January 2010, scientists set up a