Something most people are not aware of is that West Antarctica could easily be the most volcanic place on Earth. There are tons of sleeping volcanoes hidden away under all of that ice.
According to a new study that was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, a monstrous rising mass of mantle material is literally scorching the crust, and causing these volcanoes to form. Until now this theory’s plume was unidentifiable. By using a number of techniques a team from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory was able to paint quite a remarkable picture of this fiery fountain. It is the first of its kind and comes in extreme detail.
Because of the attention, West Antarctica has been receiving in regards to climate-related science the degree of accuracy of how quickly different vast parts of ice are melting is quite accurate. This allowed the JPL team to discover that the melting is consistent enough to suggest quite the mantle plume. There seems to be a lot going on underneath the ice.
This plume could explain some of the melting that has been creating lakes and rivers under the ice sheet, many agree to this, but of course, there are others who do not. Mantle plumes are essentially thought to be narrow hot narrow streams of rock rising through the Earth’s mantle. They are said to spread like mushroom caps under the crust.
NASA reported as follows on this:
The Marie Byrd Land mantle plume formed 50 to 110 million years ago, long before the West Antarctic ice sheet came into existence. At the end of the last ice age around 11,000 years ago, the ice sheet went through a period of rapid, sustained ice loss when changes in global weather patterns and rising sea levels pushed warm water closer to the ice sheet — just as is happening today. Seroussi and Ivins suggest the mantle plume could facilitate this kind of rapid loss.
What do you think about this? Could this be the explanation we have all been looking for or not? Check out the video below for an easy do it yourself demonstration of how a mantle plume works.