Antarctic Underwater Volcano

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 Updated 5 November 2006      



Undersea Volcano Discovered off Antarctica

20 May 04 - Scientists have discovered an active, and previously unknown,
volcano in the Antarctic Sound, at the northernmost tip of Antarctica.

An international team from the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced
that a major underwater volcano exists on the continental shelf of the Antarctic
Peninsula, corroborating mariners' reports of discolored water in the area, 
which is consistent with an active volcano.

Evidence of the volcano came as an unintended bonus from a research plan 
to investigate why a massive ice sheet, known as the Larsen B, collapsed and
broke up several years ago.

Eugene Domack, from New York’s Hamilton College and the expedition's 
chief scientist, said the volcano stands 700 meters (2300 feet) above the sea-
floor and extends to within roughly 275 meters (900 feet) of the ocean 
surface, and cone contains at least 1.5 cubic kilometers (.36 cubic miles) 
of volcanic rock.

Domack noted that there has been "no previous scientific record of active
volcanoes in the region." where the new peak was discovered and that it is 
north of an existing boundary where volcanic activity is known to occur in 
the region.

Rock dredges recovered abundant, fresh, basalt, which normally would be 
rapidly acted upon and transformed by seawater but appeared unaffected.

Highly sensitive temperature probes moving continuously across the bottom 
of the volcano also revealed signs of geothermal heating of seawater, especially
near the edges where the freshest rock was observed.

The research team included scientists from Hamilton College, Colgate 
University, the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University,
Montclair State University in New Jersey, Southern Illinois University in
Carbondale and Queens University in Canada.

Thanks to Doug McIntyre for this link

See also It's not global warming, it's ocean warming 






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