The newest and most dangerous island in the world is about to get a robotic sentinel. Since bursting to life 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo in 2013, a massive marine volcano called Nishinoshima has erupted dozens of times, spewing red-hot lava that engulfed a neighboring island. As the volcano has grown, so has the risk it represents to 2,500 people living on the nearby Japanese archipelago of Ogasawara. Should Nishinoshima’s rocky slopes collapse during an eruption, they could trigger a deadly tsunami that would reach the Ogasawara islands within 20 minutes.
The cracking, bulging and shaking from the eruption of a mile-high volcano where two tectonic plates separate has been captured in more detail than ever before. A University of Washington study published this week shows how the volcano behaved during its spring 2015 eruption, revealing new clues about the behavior of volcanoes where two ocean plates are moving apart.
The sea floor split open on April 24, 2015, but scientists had seen it coming for months. Drawing on data from more than a dozen instruments arrayed around the underwater volcano known as Axial Seamount, they documented telltale tremors that shook its slopes. They watched the caldera at the top of the volcano swell like a balloon filling with air, building up pressure until it finally burst. They couldn’t see much of the eruption that happened next — the water was too cloudy with debris — but they know that it involved plumes of super hot water and bubbles of gas and steam that popped with the explosive force of a mortar round. By the time the eruption ended a month later, nearly 88 billion gallons of molten rock had flooded ocean bottom.
Most volcanic eruptions on Earth happen in a hidden, dark place: deep underwater. Scientists rarely detect these outbursts on the sea floor, but last year, they caught a seamount eruption in the act. Now, researchers have characterized it in unprecedented detail—showing how a rash of earthquakes preceded the eruption and how bulging of the volcano’s surface was used to successfully forecast the eruption. Scientists say the results will help them understand how other volcanoes around the world behave.
Underwater magma may erupt not because of the pressure from below, but because the sea floor is ripping itself apart, a new study finds. What makes magma burst through the sea floor at mid-ocean ridges has been a long-running debate.
Deep-sea volcanoes are so remote, until recently we did not even know they existed. Now we can see them like never before.
Greenhouse gases are already having an accelerating effect on sea level rise, but the impact has so far been masked by the cataclysmic 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, according to a new study led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Hundreds of miles off the coast of Oregon and Washington, there’s an undersea volcano known as Axial Seamount.
Axial Seamount, an active underwater volcano located about 300 mi off the coast of Oregon and Washington, appears to be erupting — after two scientists had forecast that such an event would take place there in 2015.
Earth’s seafloor is born in fiery eruptions along volcanic mid-ocean ridges. According to a new study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, those volcanoes are surprisingly sensitive to the tides.
Information provided by satellites on the amount of chlorophyll-A and the roughness of the sea following the eruption of the underwater volcano off the island of El Hierro (Spain) did not coincide with the actual data collected in situ by vessels carrying out oceanographic studies.
Researchers from the University of Hawai’i — Mānoa (UHM), Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de L’Environment (France), and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute recently discovered that O’ahu actually consists of three major Hawaiian shield volcanoes, not two, as previously thought.