New Antarctic heat map shows sub-ice hotspots or where it’s hot under the ice of Antarctica


Recent discoveries have revealed just how volcanic Antarctica really is, despite being hidden underneath massive ice sheets. Back in August 2017, scientists discovered 91 volcanoes under Antarctica ice but it wasn’t sure if they were active or not. Now, 5 days ago, a new heat source was discovered under Antarctica driving ice melt and volcanism. Today, November 13, 2017, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has revealed a new Antarctic heat map showing sub-ice hotspots across the icy continent and thus representing the ‘geothermal heat flux’ at the base of the Antarctic Ice Sheet.

antarctica heat flux map, This new Antarctic heat map reveals sub-ice hotspots
This new Antarctic heat map reveals sub-ice hotspots. BAS

As explained by BAS researchers: “This new map of heat escaping from inside the Earth will help advance our understanding of the conditions at the base of the ice sheet, improving our ability to understand the past and to project future changes of the Antarctic Ice Sheet and its impact on global sea level.”

It is incredibly difficult to take direct measurements of heat from the Earth’s interior beneath 3 – 4 km (1.8 – 2.5 miles) of ice in extremely cold and hostile conditions. That’s why we have used magnetic data to infer the heat and we’re pleased that what we have is 30-50% more accurate than previous studies.

Antarctica is a mysterious volcanic continent under a giant sheet of ice… And the ice will melt and continents disappear.

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