91 previously unknown volcanoes under the ice of West Antarctica, which may be the largest volcanic region on Earth, have been discovered by researchers at the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh.
The newly discovered volcanoes, which are not known if they are active, range in height from 100 to 3,850 meters .
The finding, which has been published in Geological Society Special Publications , was made possible by Max Van Wyk de Vries , a third-year student at the School of Geosciences at the University of Edinburgh. As he explains:
Antarctica remains among the least studied areas on the globe, and as a young scientist I was excited to learn something new and not well understood. After examining the existing data on West Antarctica, I began to discover traces of volcanism. Naturally, I studied it further, which led to this discovery of almost 100 volcanoes under the ice sheet.
It is not yet known whether volcanoes are active, but volcanic activity may increase if Antarctica’s ice is diluted, which is likely in a warming climate.