A review of glaciovolcanism with particular application to its presence in Antarctica
Glaciovolcanism is mainly controlled by the interaction between magma composition and ice properties. However, many other smaller factors will play a role in the progression of an eruption including temperature, spatial extent, and density. Glaciovolcanism can occur in many different scenarios including at the ice-substrate boundary, as a dyke intrusion, as a supraglacial flow, or as an intrusion into permafrost. All scenarios produce different eruption styles and different deposit characteristics. Glaciovolcanic deposits are well preserved and have distinctive features which act as valuable proxies of Earth’s paleoclimate. The importance of glaciovolcanism in the modern world has recently been reinforced through the two catastrophic eruptions at Nevado del Ruiz, Chile and Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland. Hazards including Jökulhlaups, lahars, flooding, and tephra make glaciovolcanism important to understand and prepare for. However, the importance of these eruptions is not limited to hazards. Along with hazards they act as paleoclimate indicators, climate change variables, and Martian analogues. Antarctica is a continent with many known glaciovolcanoes, and probably even more unknown ones. Past eruptions on the continent have led to evacuation and destruction of national Antarctic bases. With an increase in tourism and occupation on the continent it is important to discern safety routines which will minimise the risk of glaciovolcanic hazards. Glaciovolcanism is also important in Antarctica because it can show the dynamics of the ice sheet since before the last glacial maximum due to analysis of well-preserved deposits. Overall, glaciovolcanism is a growing field of vital importance to humans and the environment.