The Fountain of Gold is located on Mt. Erebus

Precise News

It turns out that Mount Erebus spews a fortune in gold across Antarctica — $2.1 million worth of it per year, according to reports.
Tiny particles of the volcanized gold disperse from Erebus up to 1,000 kilometers across Ross Island.
Still, Erebus disgorges 80 grams of the precious metal every day — scattering $6,000 into the frozen landscape.
Its active caldera features a bubbling, fluctuating lava lake that has erupted constantly since 1972.
Fountain of gold — and ‘lava bombs’ Philip Kyle, Professor Emeritus at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, has logged more time on Mount Erebus than anyone on Earth.
By looking at the lava lake, we’re actually looking inside the volcano.
It’s thought that when the bracing Antarctic air skims the scorching surface of Erebus’ lava lake, the conditions for solid gold materialize.
Even if it were feasible to collect the gold microparticles from the expansive Mount Erebus plain, the haul would be contraband in about two-thirds of the world.

NEUTRAL

It turns out that $2.11 million worth of gold is ejected annually from Mount Erebus across Antarctica.

It would be difficult to remove from the Antarctic snow, though. From Erebus, tiny fragments of the volcanized gold spread over Ross Island for up to 1,000 kilometers. And tiny does mean tiny: the gold flecks are considerably smaller than a human hair’s thickness, at about 60 microns.

Nevertheless, each day Erebus dumps 80 grams of the precious metal, dispersing $6,000 across the icy terrain.

One peculiarity that helps distinguish Erebus from other unique volcanoes on the planet is this one. The formation, which is named after the Greek god of darkness, erupts from the Ross Sea and reaches a scorching peak elevation of 3,794 meters. Within its active caldera is a lava lake that has been erupting continuously since 1972, bubbling and fluctuating.

Its wealth is probably not extractable. Furthermore, its intricate gas vent system might provide light on extraterrestrial life.

A gold fountain along with “lava bombs.”.

No one on Earth has spent more time on Mount Erebus than Philip Kyle, the Emeritus Professor at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Totemic research has been aided by Kyle’s more than fifty expeditions to the southernmost volcano on Earth. A “walnut-sized” chunk of his brain was probably lost during an explosive eruption that occurred during an attempt to reach the inner crater for sampling. Lava bombs were launched several hundred meters into the sky.

Kyle, though, was determined to establish himself as a de facto Erebus envoy. The sub-tectonic interior of the volcano is accessed through the lake, he told BBC Earth Science.

Because Erebus breathes, it qualifies as a living volcano. We can actually see inside the volcano by observing the lava lake. According to Kyle, it’s like having a window in your chest that allows you to see your heart.

At the surface, there are exposed magma veins that can reach 1,000˚C. However, in many volcanic events, deep subterranean deposits can release gold particles that can accumulate in cooler regions. Erebus is not like most other volcanoes, which melt these particles during eruptions.

The reason might be frigid air. Lava lakes are found on only seven other volcanoes in the world. The South Sandwich Islands’ Mount Michael, an 843-meter outcrop, is the coldest. Although they are not as cold as Erebus, the South Sandwiches can be frigid. Relatively low, at only a few meters above sea level, the McMurdo station nearby can reach -50˚C.

Conditions for solid gold are said to arise when the brisk Antarctic air skims the scalding surface of Erebus’ lava lake.

keys to the universe.

Not only does Erebus’ constant off-gassing distribute valuable metals. Additionally, it forms networks of ice caves that lead to its vents, which resemble catacombs.

Entry points are indicated by fumarolic ice towers, which are formed when volcanic gases freeze solid at the surface.

Kyle stated in the BBC video that “literally hundreds” of the structures are located on Erebus and that “when you just go there for the first time, you don’t realize that virtually under every ice tower is a big ice cave system.”.

Early colonial efforts included fantastical schemes to mine gold from lava lakes. Due to his unsuccessful attempt to extract gold and silver from Nicaragua’s Masaya Volcano in the sixteenth century, Friar Blas del Castillo received conflicting praise as an early volcanologist. Known for entering the caldera in a basket containing three questionable prospecting tools—a wooden cross, a flask of wine, and a hammer—Castillo made history. The work was ineffective because there was no evidence of precious metals in the caldera. ( ).

Even if it were possible to extract the gold microparticles from the vast plain of Mount Erebus, the haul would be illegal in roughly two thirds of the world’s population. “Any activity relating to mineral resources other than scientific research” is forbidden by the Antarctic Treaty. “.

Erebus’ worth, however, might still be astronomically high. There are microbial communities living in its gas vents that are unique to Earth. Only ten centimeters away from the vent surfaces can cause temperature variations of up to 60˚C. We may be able to learn about what thrives in the final frontier from the life forms that flourish in this bizarre ecosystem.

scroll to top