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Surprising Science

Ocean Eruption

Scientists have discovered, and caught on film, the deepest undersea erupting volcano at nearly 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean surrounding Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Scientists have discovered, and caught on film, the deepest undersea erupting volcano at nearly 4,000 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean surrounding Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. “Scientists funded by NOAA and the National Science Foundation recorded the deepest erupting volcano yet discovered, describing high-definition video of the undersea eruption as ‘spectacular.’ Eruption of the West Mata volcano, discovered in May, occurred nearly 4,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, in an area bounded by Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. Imagery includes large molten lava bubbles approximately three feet across bursting into cold seawater, glowing red vents explosively ejecting lava into the sea, and the first-observed advance of lava flows across the deep-ocean seafloor. Sounds of the explosive eruption were recorded by a hydrophone and later matched to the video footage.”


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