Scientists have studied satellite images of the snow-covered Saunders island in the extreme South Atlantic and discovered a lake of liquid lava in the crater of the volcano mountains Michelle. According to the BBC, the lava lake became just the eighth such object known to scientists.
The Saunders island is part of the British overseas territory of South Georgia and the South sandwich Islands. The signs of the existence of the lava lake was first spotted in 1990-ies. However, to confirm its presence was only using the latest in satellites, because the remoteness of the Islands makes them virtually unavailable for study.
Now scientists from University College London and the British Antarctic service found that the width of the lake is 90-215 meters, and its temperature reaches thousands of degrees Celsius.
“The island was visited many times, but never climbed the mountain. If you look at the pictures you will understand why: the peak surrounded by a huge “mushroom” of snow, very light snow with ice like a sugar consistency, which is likely formed due to the heat of the volcano. You can’t walk on it, digging it, but doing it in an active volcano is very dangerous,” said one of the researchers Peter Fretwell.
The main mystery at the moment is why the lava in the lake remains liquid and doesn’t harden. Likely that she is extremely rich gases, which do not allow it to cool down.
Subscribe to our Telegram-channel technology news and culture.