This sub-sea landscape, with its waters warmed by volcanic activity creates a rich habitat for many species of wildlife and adds valuable new insight about life on earth.
courtesy British Antarctic Survey (BAS), SOURCE
Using ship-borne sea-floor mapping technology during research cruises onboard the RRS 'James Clark Ross', the scientists found 12 volcanoes beneath the sea surface.
courtesy Wikipedia, SOURCE
Underwater Antarctic volcanoes discovered in the Southern Ocean

Posted: Jul 20, 2011 05:46 am EDT
(NewsDesk) Scientists from British Antarctic Survey (BAS) have discovered previously unknown volcanoes in the ocean waters around the remote South Sandwich Islands.

Using ship-borne sea-floor mapping technology during research cruises onboard the RRS James Clark Ross, the scientists found 12 volcanoes beneath the sea surface some up to 3km high. They found 5km diameter craters left by collapsing volcanoes and 7 active volcanoes visible above the sea as a chain of islands.

The research is important also for understanding what happens when volcanoes erupt or collapse underwater and their potential for creating serious hazards such as tsunamis.

Also this sub-sea landscape, with its waters warmed by volcanic activity creates a rich habitat for many species of wildlife and adds valuable new insight about life on earth.

Speaking at the International Symposium on Antarctic Earth Sciences in Edinburgh Dr Phil Leat from British Antarctic Survey said, There is so much that we dont understand about volcanic activity beneath the sea its likely that volcanoes are erupting or collapsing all the time.

The technologies that scientists can now use from ships not only give us an opportunity to piece together the story of the evolution of our earth, but they also help shed new light on the development of natural events that pose hazards for people living in more populated regions on the planet.
ENDS

The volcanoes were mapped at high resolution using multi-beam sonar during two research cruises (2007 and 2010) on the British Antarctic Survey ship RRS James Clark Ross.

The Cambridge-based British Antarctic Survey (BAS) is a world leader in research into global environmental issues. With an annual budget of around £45 million, five Antarctic Research Stations, two Royal Research Ships and five aircraft, BAS undertakes an interdisciplinary research program and plays an active and influential role in Antarctic affairs. BAS has joint research projects with over 40 UK universities and has more than 120 national and international collaborations. It is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council.


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