Volcanic heat source found beneath Antarctic glacier – an annotated infographic


While analysing Antarctic water samples, scientists have discovered a substantial volcanic heat source beneath Pine Island Glacier.

Elevated levels of helium-3 gas detected in the waters around Pine Island glacier indicate volcanic activity beneath the ice sheet – exhibiting as much as 25 times more thermal energy than a dormant volcano.

The volcanic heat source is one more factor to account for when modelling the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Shelf. The shelf’s stability has serious implications for the future of sea level rising.

Click on the graphic for an expanded view.

Volcanic heat under glacier
Volcanic heat under glacier



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