More than 30,000 earthquakes have rocked Antarctica since late August, according to the University of Chile.
This spike in seismic activity has fascinated researchers.
Scientists with the university’s National Seismological Center said the small earthquakes – including one magnitude 6 magnitude earthquake – were found in the Bransfield Strait, a 60-mile (96-km) ocean channel between the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula.
Several tectonic plates and microplates meet near the strait, often leading to rumble, but the last three months have been unusual.
“Most of the seismicity is concentrated at the beginning of the series, mostly during the month of September, with more than a thousand earthquakes per day,” the center said.
The vibrations have become so frequent that the strait itself, once increasing in width at a rate of about 7 or 8 mm (0.30 inches) per year now expands 15 cm (6 inches) per year, the center said.
Climate scientist Raul Cordero of the University of Santiago said it was not yet clear how the quake could affect the region’s ice.