The largest volcanic region found below the Antarctic ice sheet

Scientists have uncovered the largest volcanic region on Earth consisting of almost 91 volcanoes - two kilometres below the surface of the vast ice sheet that covers west Antarctica. The newly discovered volcanoes range in height from 100 to 3,850 metres. All of them are covered in thick layers of ice. These active peaks are concentrated in a region known as the west Antarctic rift system, which stretches 3,500 km from Antarctica’s Ross ice shelf to the Antarctic peninsula. Researchers said that any activity of this range may have crucial implications for the rest of the planet.

Some facts :

  • There are about 1,500 potentially active volcanoes worldwide, aside from the continuous belt of volcanoes on the ocean floor. About 500 of these have erupted in historical time. Many of these are located along the Pacific Rim (Ring of Fire).

  • Barren Island is an island located in the Andaman Sea. It is dominated by Barren Volcano, the only confirmed active volcano in South Asia and the only active volcano along a chain of volcanoes from Sumatra to Myanmar.

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