It’s only days since Mount St. Helen’s started showing signs of activity again, but now scientists have discovered another surprising volcano.
Antarctica: land of ice, snow and penguins. Not steam, lava and boiling rocks, right? Well it may be icy now, but in one area of the continent 2000 years ago a volcano spewed ash and hot gases up through the ice, 12km into the air, creating a massive torrent of water in the process. In fact, it is thought to still be active now, causing some of the Antarctic ice sheet to melt (though only a minimal amount compared to climate change factors).
How did the scientists (from the British Antarctic Survey) discover this volcano? When the eruption took place ash was scattered over a large area, and now that it has been covered with centuries of snow, radar is reflected more by the layer of ash than the ice above and below it.