The Pine Island Glacier has been melting due to a volcano heat source that researchers have found underneath the glacier in Antarctica. The volcanic activity was first noticed in 2007 and then verified in 2014. This volcanic activity was discovered by some scientists at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography. From January to March of 2014 scientists from the United Kingdom were aboard an icebreaker during the summer down in Antarctica. They were studying the melting of the ice shelf due to the heat from the volcano. Scientists noted that the last time there was volcanic activity under the Pine Island Glacier was about 2200 years ago. Researchers also found high amounts of helium in the sea water at the Pine Island Shelf. The volcanic activity is not considered the only reason for the melting of the ice shelf in Antarctica – climate change is also a factor.
Scientists are not sure how the volcanic heat gets distributed under the bottom of the ice sheet. They do know for sure that the heat from the volcano is causing the ice to melt beneath the ice shelf. More studying is needed before they can understand why the volcano is causing the melting.