Volcanoes are widespread, at environmentally strategic locations across the entire continent; several are active
- Part of one of Earth’s largest crustal rift zones – the West Antarctic Rift System
- Outstanding probes of the Earth’s inaccessible lithospheric interior
- Erupted tephras ubiquitous in marine & ice cores; unrivalled tools for regional climate and time correlations
- Tephras are isochronous correlateable surfaces whose sources and ages can be determined
- Subglacial eruptions are unequalled sources of palaeo-ice sheet parameters (e.g. age, thickness, thermal regime)
- Volcanic heat during subglacial eruptions has the potential to modulate ice-sheet behaviour and stability, and influence global climate
So, volcanic studies are crucial for a holistic understanding of the palaeoenvironmental, palaeoclimatic & geological evolution (past and future) of the Antarctic Continent.
The SCAR Antarctic Volcanism (AntVolc) Expert Group aims to promote the study of Antarctic volcanism, facilitate regional correlations and work towards establishing Antarctica as a high profile site for studying volcanic processes, especially but not solely petrology and glaciovolcanism.