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Located on the western side of Ross Island, Mount Erebus (3,794 m) is the second highest volcano in Antarctica, the highest being Mount Sidley (4,285 m). Whilst Mount Erebus is an active volcano, Ross Island is home to three inactive volcanoes, Mount Bird, Mount Terra Nova, and notably Mount Terror.

Mount Erebus was discovered in 1841 by Sir James Clark Ross, who name some of the peaks after his ships, Erebus and Terror. Mt Erebus is the most active volcano in the southern hemisphere and is noted for its convecting anorthoclase phonolite lava lake. Strombolian eruptions occur from the surface of the lava lake. Erebus was a primordial Greek deity, personifying darkness, one of the beings that came into existence from Chaos. In Greek literature, Erebus also refers to a region in the underworld, through which the dead had to pass after dying.

In 1979, the Air New Zealand sightseeing flight crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all those on board.

The Australian Government - Australian Antarctic Division website lists Australian tour operators for the Antarctic. For those planning to include Macquarie Island World Heritage Area, information is available from the Tasmania Parks & Wildlife Service.


Many thanks to Jennifer Cooke for sharing the story and images of the wonderful tour she went on with Aurora Expeditions to Antarctica.

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Mount Erebus - Antarctica - Snapshots from Australia

Sunset over Mount Erebus
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1 Volcano Live: Mt Erebus Volcano - John Search. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  National Geographic: Antarctica's Mount Erebus. By Olivia Judson. Published July 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  Earth Observatory: Volcanic Activity on Mt. Erebus. February 19, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
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