Dr. Stefanie Brachfeld, assistant professor of Earth and Environmental Studies at Montclair State University, was on a research vessel near Antarctica May 5 investigating an ice shelf when a hot topic suddenly demanded her attention: Members of her international science team had just discovered an active and previously unknown volcano on the sea bottom.
Brachfeld, by email from somewhere near Antarctica, described the startling find.
"In 2001, the United States Antarctic Program mapped what appeared to be three seamounts on the eastern Antarctic Peninsula continental shelf," Brachfeld wrote. "This year, with funding from the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs, the USAP Research Vessel Laurence M. Gould was able to take a closer look at one of these features. The preliminary study included a one-hour video, acquired by towing an adapted video camera over the flanks and crest of the feature, a rock dredge, and a temperature survey.