Science

Scientists discover the largest underwater volcanic eruption that went unnoticed in last 100 years

Most of us are aware of the volcanic eruptions taking on land. Scientists constantly monitor the volcanic activities of these easy to observe volcanoes. But they don’t have much data about the underwater volcanoes. That is why they missed a big underwater volcano that erupted within 100 years. Scientists say that it is difficult to monitor volcanic activities occurring at the bottom of the sea because it is quite challenging to reach the spot of the activity, as well as the visibility of such volcanoes, is quite low. But as per the latest reports, researchers have got hold of the largest underwater volcanic eruption called as Havre Volcano.

In 2012, when the scientists got reports of massive debris or raft floating near New Zealand, they speculated that something strange might have happened. With the passage of time, the raft grew larger and reached almost 241 square kilometers. This made scientists suspect that something massive is happening underwater. A group of researchers from New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. led by Rebecca Carey at the University of Tasmania in Australia sent Sentry, an autonomous vehicle, to map the raft area. Then they sent a remotely operated vehicle Jason to identify and collect the volcanic material.

At first, the researchers thought the site to be a violent one, but they were completely surprised when they analyzed the data collected by those vehicles. The found out that the volcanic eruption was happening pretty calmly and lava flows were moving slowly. The molten rock released from the eruption resulted in the formation of a huge cone of cooled rock around the site of the eruption. The less explosive eruption would have been possible due high pressures at the bottom of the ocean. So, it can be said that the largest underwater volcano was a less violent one. The researchers felt that poor understanding and lack of information about the oceanic volcanoes resulted made this massive underwater volcanic eruption get unnoticed in 100 years.

Study author Adam Soule from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute said that this issue often happens with work in deep oceans. “We had preconceived notions of what we’d find, but not until we got out there did we get a sense of what had happened, he said.” As per the study, there are plenty of data about the oceanic volcanoes that are still unknown, and these oceanic volcanoes make up 70 percent of the magma that Earth spits out. The latest study was published in the journal Science Advances.

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The TeCake Staff

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