Berlin Volcano - John Seach


Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica

76.05 S, 136.00 W
summit elevation 3478 m
Shield volcanoes

The volcano consists of two shield volcanoes - Berlin crater and Merrem Peak, a subsidiary crater. The summit crater is 2 km in diameter.

Two outcrops of scoria and lava deposits on the north flank of Mount Berlin were produced by monogenetic cinder cone eruptions. On the southeast flank of the volcano is an isolated outcrop of tuff, which is considered an an ignimbrite, one of the few examples in Marie Byrd Land.

Fumarolic activity at Berlin Volcano is located at the northern and western caldera rims. Steaming ice towers have been observed at the volcano. Mt Berlin is the only volcano with documented geothermal activity in West Antarctica.

The youngest sequence in the Mount Berlin summit crater wall, is attributed to a hydrovolcanic eruptive phase.

Eruptions of Mt Berlin Volcano.
Growth of Mount Berlin volcano occurred in three stages:

1) Eruptions at Brandenberger Bluff (1650 m above sea level) occurred 2.7 million years ago. This has been dated from lava, pyroclastic rocks and cinder cone deposits. Brandenberger Bluff is a 300 m thick of fine grained lapilli overlying lava.

2) Eruptions from the 3000 m a.s.l. Merrem Peak crater (2.5 x 1 km diameter) occurred from 571,000 to 141,000 years ago. Eruptions at Merrem Peak were the most voluminous phase of activity at Mount Berlin volcano. Flank eruptions also occurred during this period of volcanism.

3) Volcanic activity occurred at the summit crater from 25,000 years ago until present. At the summit an ice tower opens into an ice cave more than 70 m long. Surface temperatures of the cave floor lava are up to 12 deg C.

Berlin Volcano Eruptions

No recent eruptions.