As the second-largest mountain and Antarctica, Mount Erebus is the most active volcano on the icy continent. It also has the unique distinction of being the most active, yet least-studied volcano in the world.
That may change this summer with a new expedition. Funded through the New Zealand Antarctica program, geologists from New Zealand, America and Japan will use cutting-edge techniques to penetrate the inner workings of the mountain to map magma paths.
We’ve already learned the hard way that remote volcanos can have a significant impact on the world. Take as example the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull; an Icelandic volcano that disrupted global travel for nearly a week, and continuing to affect lives locally for months. Though a small eruption in a distant country, the resulting ash covered large parts of Europe.
Mount Erebus has an interesting history in its own right. Discovered in 1841 by polar explorer Sir James Clark Ross, it was first climbed by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s comrades in 1908. There is a sad history as well; namely Air New Zeland Flight 901 of 1979, which slammed into the side of the mountain during a sightseeing expedition. During the warm season, wreckage of the flight is still visible to this day.