Wednesday, May 29, 2024

More Than 85,000 Earthquakes Registered In Antarctica In 2020


Scientists have uncovered a swarm of more than 85,000 deep-sea earthquakes associated with undersea volcanic activity.

The research was conducted at the Orca volcano site, which lies between Antarctica and the tip of South America, using remote sensing technologies.

South America 3d isolated. Elements of this image furnished by NASA (AdobeStock)
South America 3d isolated. Elements of this image furnished by NASA (AdobeStock)

The research was conducted by a team of international scientists from the US, Poland, Italy, and Germany. The results were published in the journal “Communications Earth and Environment.”

The researchers have been able to identify the reason behind the swarm quakes as a magma intrusion or the movement of large volumes of magma.

Commenting on the findings, Simone Cesca, the team lead from the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) Potsdam, stated:

“In the past, seismicity in this region was moderate. However, in August 2020, an intense seismic swarm began there, with more than 85,000 earthquakes within half a year. It represents the largest seismic unrest ever recorded there. Our study represents a new successful investigation of a seismo-volcanic unrest at a remote location on Earth, where the combined application of seismology, geodesy and remote sensing techniques are used to understand earthquake processes and magma transport in poorly instrumented areas. This is one of the few cases where we can use geophysical tools to observe intrusion of magma from the upper mantle or crust-mantle boundary into the shallow crust – a rapid transfer of magma from the mantle to almost the surface that takes only a few days.”

You can find the original study here.

Antarctica Map (Image credit: Creative Commons)
Antarctica Map (Image credit: Creative Commons)
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy
Sam Helmy is a TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer, and PADI Staff and Trimix Instructor. Diving for 28 years, a dive pro for 14, I have traveled extensively chasing my passion for diving. I am passionate about everything diving, with a keen interest in exploration, Sharks and big stuff, Photography and Decompression theory. Diving is definitely the one and only passion that has stayed with me my whole life! Sam is a Staff Writer for