The Dry Valleys of the Antarctic are essentially cold deserts.
Protected from the ice shelf by the trans-Antarctic mountains,
these valleys are clear of ice and snow and it is here in this
bizarre landscape that scientists are able to gain access to
volcanic rock in a way that isn’t possible anywhere else on
earth. Researchers are able to directly access volcanic sills -
which they refer to as the “plumbing system” that
transports magma to the earth’s crust.
It is their hope that information gained from their
research will help them to better understand the cycles of volcanic
activity. Volcanic impact on climate has been directly linked with
some of the major extinctions of species that we’ve seen in
Can we expect another period of major volcanic activity? Perhaps
the answer lies in the deserts of the Antarctic.
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