Aquatic Robot Braves Volcanoes and Typhoons to Detect Tsunamis

2017-01-31T09:49:44+00:00 January 31, 2017|

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.

Underwater Volcano’s Eruption Captured In Exquisite Detail By Seafloor Observatory

2017-02-06T16:04:15+00:00 January 24, 2017|

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.

A Massive Underwater Volcano Eruption Is Captured In Real Time

2016-12-19T12:24:56+00:00 December 19, 2016|

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.

Underwater Network Gives Scientists A Rare Glimpse Into Deep-Sea Volcanoes

2016-12-19T09:08:07+00:00 December 19, 2016|

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.

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