A Dozen Underwater Volcanoes Discovered Near Antarctica

Posted on July 12, 2011

Scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) discovered previously unknown volcanoes in the ocean waters around the remote South Sandwich Islands. The volcanoes were discovered using ship-borne sea-floor mapping technology during research cruises onboard the RRS James Clark Ross. 12 volcanoes in total were found beneath the sea surface.

Some of the volcanoes are up to 3 kilometers high. The researchers found 5km diameter craters left by collapsing volcanoes and 7 active volcanoes visible above the sea as a chain of islands.

Dr Phil Leat from British Antarctic Survey says, "There is so much that we don't understand about volcanic activity beneath the sea - it's likely that volcanoes are erupting or collapsing all the time. The technologies that scientists can now use from ships not only give us an opportunity to piece together the story of the evolution of our earth, but they also help shed new light on the development of natural events that pose hazards for people living in more populated regions on the planet."

You can read more about the discovery here on Livescience.com.

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