Next to Antarctica discovered a very rare type of volcano. What are its characteristics?
In the world there are around 1,500 potentially active volcanoes (ie those that have already exploded, or even may explode in the future). But only a handful of them can boast an interesting feature - the presence of a liquid lake of boiling lava in the crater. By now it was known that there is only 7 such volcanoes that can continuously maintain boiling lava lake. To this list we recently added another volcano.
A rare find
It's called Mount Michael and is on top of a snow-covered islands Saunders, part of the British South Sandwich islands in the South Atlantic. Its height is 990 meters.
The fact that on the island there is volcanic activity, has been known for 200 years. Research expeditions periodically visited Saunders Island, but scientists have never climbed on top of it. It is surrounded by deep snow and very soft layers, which are formed due to the constant emission of steam.
As explained by the researcher Peter Fretwell, "top surrounded by an extremely soft and loose snow cap with a consistency similar to powdered sugar." People were very dangerous up there. Therefore, satellite observations have become the only opportunity to explore this place.
Back in the 1990s, scientists using an orbiting satellite could find on the island of thermal anomalies. But to confirm the existence of a permanent volcano lava lake had not happened. Techniques and methods of observation were not as accurate as it is now. A study using a more modern scientific equipment showed that the inside of the volcano Mount Michael really is a lake of lava.
Satellite image shows the emission of steam volcano Mount Michael
After the measurement, the researchers found that the width of the lake is from 90 to 215 meters, and temperature - about 1279 degrees Celsius.
Why is this discovery important?
In contrast to the short-term emission of lava that can be seen only during eruptions, such lakes might exist about a hundred years. Scientists explain that there are very few of such volcanic lakes in the world. Opening on Saunders Island became the eighth known case in the world history.
to It looks like a lava lake of Nyiragongo volcano
The other seven are: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Nyiragongo), Ethiopia (Erta Ale), Antarctica (Erebus), Vanuatu (Ambrym and Yasur), Hawaii (Kilauea) and Nicaragua (Masaya).
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