Antarctica’s Volcanic Ice Caves Rival Hoth’s

Antarctica’s Volcanic Ice Caves Rival Hoth’s

Antarctica’s Mount Erebus is a bit of an odd duck in the world of volcanoes. While virtually all others have a solid cap of rock covering their magma pools, Erebus’ has none — just a mile deep lake of roiling, liquid hot magma.

It’s also the only volcano covered in massive ice caves. As gasses escape fissures in the side of the mountain, the melt through the snow pack — hollowing out the huge caves — and creating towering spires known as fumaroles when they hit the sub-zero air and instantly freeze.

Kayla Iacovino — a PhD student studying volcanology and petrology on Mount Erebus — captured these incredible images. Be Sure to check out the rest of her gallery as well as that of one curated by the National Science Foundation [Boing Boing]

Frosty Icicles

A Foggy Descent

Glowing Crystals