(ORDO NEWS) — The largest volcanic region on the planet is located on the territory of Antarctica. It is worth paying attention to what its specialists discovered recently.
Employees of the University of Edinburgh discovered in 2017 more than 100 volcanoes located in the western part of the continent and hidden by an ice sheet about two kilometers thick.
The largest volcano is about the same size as Mount Eiger in Switzerland. The height is 3967 meters.
There are only two active volcanoes in Antarctica today – Deception and Erebus. Despite the fact that many experts are sure that these volcanoes do not pose any threat, there are those who are not so optimistic.
John Smellie, a professor of volcanology at the University of Leicester, says that even if even one of these volcanoes starts to act, it could turn into a disaster for the entire planet.
“The activity of the volcano can cause huge caves to be melted at the base of the ice.
It will also trigger the appearance of a large amount of melt water.
This, in turn, will lead to the fact that the ice in the western part of Antarctica will gradually begin to slide, and the speed of its movement will noticeably increase.
This could have happened 2,000 years ago, when a volcano in the Hudson Mountains became active.
If this happens again, the Pine Island glacier, which is located near the volcano, will immediately begin to melt,” says the professor.
Even if at least one volcano erupts, it can cause serious consequences. A chain reaction will occur. When the ice decreases, another volcano may begin to erupt, because it is the masses of ice that are able to keep volcanic gases in the cells.
Strong volcanic activity will cause the glaciers in West Antarctica to melt until the water level on the planet rises by tens of meters. Then the Earth will not be suitable for human life.
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