A British expedition has discovered more than a dozen Antarctic ocean craters near the islands called the South Sandwich in the southern Atlantic Ocean. These volcanoes have elevations of nearly 3 km and some mouths are active.
In 1775, when explorer James Cook discovered the South Sandwich Islands, he also recorded the existence of dozens of active volcanic islands rising above the water.'However, the area below the seabed is still completely unknown. No one has ever surveyed this area before , 'said Phil Leats, leading the British Antarctic survey team on Discovery. ' Currently, we have a very detailed map of the seabed around these islands '.
The expedition used underwater image scanners (sonar scans) and discovered 12 new underground volcanoes. A few mountains with a height of more than 2km rise above the seabed. Some of these volcanoes are clearly active recently. The other tops were ' dead ' and created giant volcanic craters that were nearly 5 km wide.
According to scientific analysis, these volcanic ranges were created when the South American continental plate slid beneath the South Sandwich geology to the west, causing seawater to be sucked deep into the Earth's core through slits. to slide. Finally, the molten lava from the Earth's core erupts again and again, creating the eruption of these volcanic ranges.
Thanks to this discovery, geologists have gained an understanding of eruptions under the ocean and the formation of a new continental shell.
Biologists are also very interested in this discovery because hot water sprays from the bottom of the sea will create a new kind of habitat, thereby creating new species. ' We know there is a completely different ecosystem for new life forms that exist around such hot water areas, ' Mr. Leat said.
In addition, this finding increases the general awareness of tsunami hazards. Volcanoes under the ocean are often constituted by unstable cliffs. If all the volcanic walls are unstable, it can drop suddenly, and create tsunamis.
' Our GPS data can demonstrate that the islands in the South Sandwich are essentially moving east at a very fast pace, heading towards Africa. Thus, the west coast of Africa is facing the threat of tsunami from this newly discovered volcano, "concluded Ian Dalziel of the University of Texas at Austin.