In the southern sector of the map of Antarctica, the Erebus stratovolcano is marked - the second highest on Earth. The English discoverers named it after the Greek god, the symbol of the darkness generated by Chaos.
Erebus - where the volcano of Antarctica is located
The South Pole of the planet has many extinct, dormant and active volcanoes. The thickness of the ice in the central part of the mainland is so huge that under its weight the land is concave by almost 1 km. Only along the perimeter, as well as on the adjacent islands, underground forces were able to break through the ice sheet and splash out in the form of volcanoes, hot geysers, and fumaroles.
Mount Erebus on the map is surrounded by 3 cooled brothers on the South Antarctic island of Ross in the sea of the same name, near Victoria Land.
Description of the volcano: height, diameter and depth of the crater, age
Erebus refers to stratovolcanoes, which are characterized by layering from many explosive eruptions. For 1.3 million, magma flows solidifying one after another accumulate. Tephra is added to them - emissions settling from the air in the form of bombs and ash, which over time are cemented into a light porous tuff rock.
The study of the structure of the layers also revealed:
- phonolite and its variety kenite;
Today, the height of the active volcano has reached a zone of rarefied air at a level of 3704 m. Above only the extinct, turned into a mountain, Sidley on the Antarctic Mary Land Baird. With a crater depth of 274 m, the diameter of Erebus is slightly less than 1 km (805 m).
History of volcanic eruptions
Stratovolcano belongs to the West Antarctic rift system - the McMurdo Group, after the name of the strait that goes into the Ross Sea. Erebus is fed by a fiery-liquid mass from the geosphere between the core and the crust of the Earth, that is, from the upper mantle. According to scientists, igneous deposits at a depth of 200 km have a diameter of about 300 km.
A vertical channel goes down from the main massif for 400 km. The magma level rises to the vent by 6 cm/year. On the narrowing day of the inner caldera (boiler), Erebus is constantly located the lake of the hot lava. A constant influx is supported by a sluggish eruption with clouds of steam, ash, periodic spool by half a kilometer of 10-meter bombs.
When the pressure accumulated from the bottom becomes critical, a short powerful explosion occurs.
For the next 100 years, 8 explosion-like eruptions were recorded, the strongest - in 1972, the last - in 2011, glowing fireworks of hot stones, the crimson smoke reaches the height of the 8-storey house. Gazed through faults in the earth's crust - hydrogen, methane - invade the ozone layer of the stratosphere and drowned it.
As a result of the Sea of Ross, a huge ozone hole is formed above Antarctic, the contour of which repeats the configuration of earth faults. The lava swelling from the lake, the holes in the slopes are connected to the geyser (water) fountains, steam-smoke pillars from Fumarole. At the same time, the volcanic apocalypse does not deplete completely in the day of magma at the bottom.
If you look into the patient boiler, it is shifted in the cracks of the cooled black crust. Erebus volcano on the map of Antarctica - seismically calm area. For the southern pole, tectonic movements are not typical at all, and volcanism is not accompanied by frequent earthquakes, both on other continents.
Climate and weather
The climatic conditions of Ross Island - Polar Sebo, which are not different from the Antarctic zone as a whole, since constant circulation of mainland air occurs. Basic signs - frosty winter, cold summer. Moreover, the change in the temperature front is peculiar: the lowest indicators - in August, the highest for these places - in January.
key weather marks, ° С:
|average annual The temperature on the north-west coast of the island||-26|
|is the same in the south-east||-36|
|The average temperature in January||-2 - +6|
|is the same in July||-27|
|The lowest indicator of August||-62|
|averaged annual seawater temperature on the surface||-1.8 °|
|Maximum heating of the upper layer of water in summer||+ 2 °|
The sky is preferably closed by clouds, the proximity of the sea creates moisture to 80% in the form of fog. Prolonged strong winds from the east above the Island of Ross. The average annual precipitation is insignificant - only 100 mm. Here, as over the entire southern pole, the highest solar radiation on the planet.
On the map, Antarctica is represented by an inexpressive white spot, in reality there are many unusual natural objects. The slopes of the same volcano Erebus are covered with high towers, of which smoke is constantly valite. It seems that there is someone in the mountain in the mountain oven. These are fumaroles.
When the volcano calms down, the temperature of the emerging vapors and gases decreases, around the crack or hole is settled by steam condensate, gradually intending to a height of up to 20 m and more.
Ice towers acquire the most fantastic shape. New Zealand scientists describe fumarols: the largest look like a cosmonaut figure, behind which the procession is followed by the similarity of people, animals. One fumarol reminded Lion.
The caves of extraordinary beauty are formed from volcanic vapors in the thicker of ice: with translucent blue crops, white stalactites, different shapes with arches, bizarre "stucco" on the walls, huge ice curls. One of the most impressive is the cave Warren with a depth of 12 m. The bottom of the cavity was exposed: somewhere shells a soft wet soil, somewhere - a solid rock rock.
Thick ice walls do not miss light, but their crystalline surface creates a unique effect: if the lights are turned on in a pitch darkness, the diamond sparks transfuses with all colors Rainbow.
In the vellen of the volcano itself there is a phenomenon: despite the fiery lake at the bottom, the edges of the boiler are covered with ice. During the eruption, frost evaporates, but as soon as active activity freezes, the perimeter and the slopes are again becoming snow-white.
It is impossible to imagine, but in the conditions of permafrost live bacteria. They are found in Antarctic oases, which is the Taylor Valley on the Earth Victoria. In it, under a 400-meter ice layer, there is a very salty lake. Its water seeps along the horizon a few kilometers, flows into the nizel, forming a cascade ice "waterfall" of a blood-red color.
The growing color gives the vital activity of lake microorganisms. Delivered opportunities to receive energy due to solar photosynthesis, they switched to chemical.
Scientists revealed 3 stages:
- Soloic acid salts of the lake - sulfates are transformed into sulfite bacteria.
- Sulfites are oxidized by ions of 3-blade iron from the bottom soil.
- After obtaining the necessary energy in the water, 2-valet iron remains in the water. Oxidizing oxygen at the exit of lake water to the surface, Fe2o3paints it in red.
Researchers believe that the deep, darkened ecosystem exists from the time of the ancient planet, and its microorganisms develop on fundamentally different evolutionary mechanisms. Modern devices make it possible to detect bacteria surviving in the conditions of rapid temperatures of the volcano.
Since most microbes die in laboratory conditions, they were learned to describe DNA. Thus, it was confirmed that microorganisms are inhabited in the hot franss of Erebus. A new task is set - on the basis of samples from the caves and the slopes of the volcano, it is proved that the frozen bacteria lived in a hot lava.
On the question of the most desired places of the planet, the majority will call the desert. But the right answer is dry Antarctic valleys. Almost 8000 km² of Victoria Earth Windshell unique for the Planet of Speed - 320 km / h, therefore neither snow nor ice is delayed in separate oases.
At the Cape Evans of Ross Island still stands the Huts of the Englishman, the Polar Researcher, Captain R. Scott. He headed the transntarctic expedition out of 5 people. And safely brought it to the middle of January 1912 to the southern pole.
The adaptation of the discoverers was overshadowed by the type of tent with the Norwegian flag, which a year ago left Amundsen expedition. On the way back the exhausted, disappointed polar explosions finished frost and physical exhaustion.
Not far from the hut in 1916, a cross will be erected on a folded high-base stone in memory of the deceased Expedition R. Scott.
An interesting historical findings are discovered in Antarctic snow in 2013. D. Levik - doctor, zoologist, photographer from the group R. Scott. New Zealand specialists in the field of the Heritage of Antarctic were renovated by the pages burned under the melting snow, placed information on digital carriers.
The diary was sent to the Cape Evans for admission to the collection of 11 thousand artifacts associated with British polar explorers. The exposition stores photographs made by D. Levik on the way to the southern pole.
Interesting facts about Volcano
D. Ross arrived with the crew to the Antarctic on 2 ships - Erebus and Terror. On the very first day, travelers witnessed volcanic eruptions. Shocked by the enchanting spectrum, D. Ross noted a fire-hazing mountain in the name of Erebus. In the company to her, a cold low shield slice, located 30 km, called terror.
Researchers found in the composition of the lava of the stratovolcano a unique mineral kenite - a glassy mass with lamellar or acicular inclusions of potassium feldspars, aegirine, olivine. The latter is abundant in the structure of some asteroids. Olivine is also a close relative of the precious yellow-green chrysolites. Kenite is found in the rocks of the oldest mountains of Kenya.
In a liquid state heated to 900 °, only Erebus spews it. For geologists and volcanologists of the world, this fact is of considerable interest.
Mount Erebus on the map of Ross Island is adjacent to the Church of the Snows (1956). The polar religious building is under the supervision of Americans from the McMurdo polar station. Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, Buddhists, Baha'is and other religious movements who have the opportunity to fly to the South Pole send services to churches.
The white spot of Antarctica on the world map keeps many interesting secrets and sights. One of them is Mount Erebus.
Article design: Oleg Lozinsky
Video about the Erebus volcano
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