Huge Volcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice

By | July 17, 2008

Huge Volcanoes May Be Erupting Under Arctic Ice

New evidence deep beneath the Arctic ice suggests a series of underwater volcanoes have erupted in violent explosions in the past decade.

Hidden 2.5 miles (4,000 meters) beneath the Arctic surface, the volcanoes are up to a mile (2,000 meters) in diameter and a few hundred yards tall.

They formed along the Gakkel Ridge, a lengthy crack in the ocean crust where two rocky plates are spreading apart, pulling new melted rock to the surface… Until now, scientists thought undersea volcanoes only dribbled lava from cracks in the seafloor. The extreme pressure from the overlying water makes it difficult for gas and magma to blast outward. … With news this week that polar ice is melting dramatically, underwater Arctic pyrotechnics might seem like a logical smoking gun.

Scientists don’t see any significant connection, however.

“We don’t believe the volcanoes had much effect on the overlying ice,” Reeves-Sohn told LiveScience, “but they seem to have had a major impact on the overlying water column.” – foxnews

Leave a Reply