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Earth

Tremors Mean Antarctic Volcanism May Be Heating Up 132

The L.A. Times reports on the discovery of seismic events (nearly 1400 tremors were recorded by researchers in 2010-2011) which seem to indicate the presence of volcanic activity 15 to 20 miles beneath the surface of western Antarctica. According to the article, "The area of activity lies close to the youngest in a chain of volcanoes that formed over several million years, and the characteristics and depth of the seismic events are consistent with those found in volcanic areas of Alaska’a Aleutian Islands, the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, the study concludes." Volcanism isn't a new discovery (Mt. Waesche, a volcanic mountain, is the believed origin of some ash mentioned in the article), but the newly detected seismic activity may be a harbinger for local melting from below of the Antarctic ice sheet, and possibly have long-term effects on the flow patterns of the overlying ice.

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