Imaggeo on Mondays: Erebus Ice Tongue Cave

Imaggeo on Mondays: Erebus Ice Tongue Cave

The interior of this ice cave at the Erebus glacier tongue is cathedral-like. Imagine standing in the cold interior, icy blue stalactites dangling from the cave roof; the sense of awe is overwhelming.

Mt. Erbus is the world’s southernmost active volcano on Ross Island, in Antarctica. Winding its way down its lower slopes is Erebus glacier. Projecting out from the coast, a jagged and thin tongue makes its way into the ice-covered Ross Sea.

The interplay of glacial flow and tides leads to scalloped edges of the tongue where ice caves commonly form. Due to surface melting in the Antarctic summer the interior is filled with intricate icicles and ice crystals.


Erebus Ice Tongue. NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and the U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.

Imaggeo is the EGU’s online open access geosciences image repository. All geoscientists (and others) can submit their photographs and videos to this repository and, since it is open access, these images can be used for free by scientists for their presentations or publications, by educators and the general public, and some images can even be used freely for commercial purposes. Photographers also retain full rights of use, as Imaggeo images are licensed and distributed by the EGU under a Creative Commons licence. Submit your photos at

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Laura Roberts Artal is the Outreach and Dissemination Manager at The Water Innovation Hub (University of Sheffield). Laura also volunteers as the Associate Director of Communications for Geology for Global Development. She has also held a role in industry as Marketing Manager for PDS Ava (part of PDS Group). Laura was the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union from the summer of 2014 to the end of 2017. Laura is a geologist by training and holds a PhD in palaeomagnetism from the University of Liverpool. She tweets at @LauRob85.

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