Skip to body

Central Washington University

CWU faculty, students research fire below ice in Antarctica

"A volcano may be stirring more than a half-mile beneath a major ice sheet in Antarctica, raising the possibility of faster base melting that could ultimately affect climate.

Seismologists working in a mountainous area of Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica detected a swarm of low-magnitude earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 similar to those that can precede volcanic eruptions . . ."

Read more about this in the Los Angeles Times.

In addition to work by Audrey Huerta, CWU geological sciences professor, three CWU graduate students--Jim Rinke, Carl Swanson, and Jake Crane--helped with the collection of the data. Each of these students  spent weeks in Antarctica installing and maintaining the seismometers that were used in this research.

Photo: Mt. Sidley is the youngest of a chain of volcanoes looms over the ice sheet in Marie Byrd Land in western Antarctica. (Douglas Wiens / Washington University, St. Louis / December 11, 2011)