Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Heat from the volcano could speed up demise of Antarctica's fragile ice sheet

Could it be that the demise of Antarctica's precious ice sheet is not entirely the fault of developed nations and their pollution? Possibly, as a roaring volcano has since been discovered broiling away there. Located in west Antarctica, it gives new meaning to the term 'tip of the iceberg.'

The presence of the rift means the area also experiences significant earthquakes, although the largest 'mega-quakes' are unlikely.

The presence of the rift means the area also experiences significant earthquakes, although the largest "mega-quakes" are unlikely.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

11/18/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Antarctica, ice sheet, volcano, earthquakes

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While there are many volcanoes jutting up from the Antarctic ice, such as Mount Erebus, none of them were known to be active."For the first time, we're seeing evidence of activity right now," Amanda Lough of Washington University in St Louis, Missouri says.

A network of seismometers that have been installed in Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica over the last six years has been taking the required measurements. The seismometers have detected two swarms of tremors; one in January and February 2010, and the other in March 2011.

AFTER THE UNSPEAKABLE, WE SPEAK HOPE. Support Catholic Online's response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. DONATE NOW ...

Those tremors were deep ones, and couldn't have been the result of the ice moving. The tremors also had a fairly low frequency, between 2 and 4 Hertz, suggesting they were not caused by an earthquake.

"That area is known to have been active in the past," Hugh Corr of the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, UK, says. Corr found traces of a sub-glacial eruption that took place around 2000 years ago in 2008.

Examining the subsurface topography, Lough says the recent tremors happened under a rise in the bedrock, which protrudes about a kilometer above the surrounding rock. It still isn't high enough to stick out of the ice. She believes this may be the volcanic cone. Lough also detected a layer of ash trapped in the ice, probably from an eruption. Based on its depth, the ash seems to be 8000 years old.

Close to a string of mountains called the Executive Committee Range, the new addition is among where onetime volcanoes once were. The volcanic activity seems to be moving south by about 9.6 kilometers every million years, Lough says.

The volcanoes are probably created by a tectonic rift running under west Antarctica, where Earth's crust is being slowly pulled apart and molten rock is welling up from beneath.

The presence of the rift means the area also experiences significant earthquakes, although the largest "mega-quakes" are unlikely.

"In the early studies people thought Antarctica was seismic," Lough says. "It definitely isn't. It's a lot livelier than people assumed."

A birth foretold: click here to learn more!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Green

Climate change underlying cause of chaos in Syria, Prince Charles declares Watch

Image of The 67-year-old prince, accused of


In an interview, Britain's Prince Charles says that failing address climate change result in the chaos that now grips Syria, plunging Europe into a refugee crisis. The prince will be speaking at a global climate summit in Paris next week. More than 100 world ... continue reading

Doomsday for Rhinos: White Rhinos facing extinction - ONLY 3 remain on Earth Watch

Image of It's too late, barring a scientific miracle for the northern white rhinoceros, however. The final three of this breed reside at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a preserve in Kenya.


Nola, one of four remaining northern white rhinoceros on Earth has been put to sleep. Suffering from a lengthy illness, Nola was put down at the San Diego Safari Park this past weekend. Once the three remaining northern white rhinos at an animal preserve in ... continue reading

Excited for El Nino? Don't be, here's why... Watch

Image of Although surfers have had to contend with more sharks, the surfing has been better. For the rest of So Cal, the eagerly awaited El Nino will bring a nasty surprise.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The El Nino continues to rage in the Equatorial Pacific, now reaching nearly six degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The hot blob of water is already affecting weather patterns and the Southwestern United States can expect a wet winter. The caveat of course, is that the ... continue reading

Will the 2015 Leonid meteor shower produce the storm of the century? Here's your guide to viewing Watch

Image of A picture of the 1833 Leonid meteor storm.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In one week, Earth will pass through a stream of cosmic debris that will produce the Leonids meteor shower. Here's everything you need to know about the shower and how to view it. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Leonid meteor shower happens every year around ... continue reading

What the heck is a cryovolcano anyway? NASA announces discovery of ice volcanoes on Pluto Watch

Image of The New Horizons image of Pluto. Far from being a boring, icy world with few features, Pluto is a surprisingly complex world full of surprises.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

What the heck is a cryovolcvano and why does Pluto appear to have them? These are questions that NASA is attempting to answer following surprising new information revealed by the New Horizons flyby mission. At least two cryovolcanoes have been spotted and NASA thinks ... continue reading

Antarctica is gaining ice, and why that doesn't mean global warming is false Watch

Image of A Snow Cat vehicle, used in an expedition to Antarctica in 1957-58. Scientists continue to study the last pristine continent on the planet, to learn what it can teach us about the rest of Earth.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A new study from NASA concludes that Antarctic sea ice increased between 2003 to 2008, contrary to popular belief. These gains, all in East Antarctica, are expected to offset losses in West Antarctica. However, this discovery should not be taken to mean that global ... continue reading

World's rarest whale caught on camera for FIRST time ever and you won't believe your eyes! Watch

Image of The world's rarest whale was caught on camera (Salvatore Cerchio).


The world's rarest whale, which was previously believed to have completely died out, was caught on camera in Madagascar by a team of biologists. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Omura's whales are extremely rare, so rare that scientists don't know how many still ... continue reading

San Ramon, California breaks unbelievable earthquake record Watch

Image of San Ramon, California (not pictured) breaks earthquake record (AP).


Twelve small quakes have hit San Ramon, California within eight hours on Tuesday. Most were 2.0 and under and may set a record for the most earthquakes in the same area. The record sits at Alamo, which saw 351 earthquakes within a 42-day time in 1990. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

Hurricane Patricia is now the most powerful storm ever recorded, and it's about to kill a lot of people Watch

Image of A fisherman checks his boat ahead of the arrival of Patricia.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Screaming hot sea temperatures in the equatorial Pacific have been spinning off storms all summer, sending tropical storms and small hurricanes into the Eastern Pacific. This year has seen a record number of storms. Now, a category 5 hurricane, Patricia, is about to ... continue reading

X-ray technology proves that California's forests irreparably traumatized by drought Watch

Image of Biologist Greg Asner insists that there is still hope.


Using X-ray technology, biologist Greg Asner took an expedition to see the effect the ongoing drought had upon California's forest ranges. Peering down from a plane at 6,000 feet, Asner found that things were far dire than previously predicted by the Forest ... continue reading

All Green News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Couple heartbroken after doctor performs abortion without mother's ...
  • 'Domestic terrorism': 5 People shot during Black Lives Matter protest ...
  • St. Catherine of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, November ...
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  • Advent Wreath Prayer HD
  • Prayer For Courage HD
  • 5 unbelievable times children taught us to be better human beings

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 2:31-45
31 'You have had a vision, Your Majesty; this is what you saw: a statue, ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:57, 58, 59, 60, 61
57 Bless the Lord, all the Lord's creation: praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:5-11
5 When some were talking about the Temple, remarking how it was adorned ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various ... Read More