An international team of researchers has documented the characteristics and details of an underwater volcano that appeared in 2018 by collaborating with several institutions in France. The group described the eruption as the biggest underwater volcano ever recorded in an article published in Nature Geoscience. This is
In the spring 2018, researchers noticed something strange under the sea: seismometers indicated that there was something under the African seabed, between Malawi and Madagascar, close to the French island Mayotte. Incredulous, the researchers set up several seismographs beneath the seabed to monitor the area with sonar instruments. The team recorded thousands vibratory events over the next months. Some were from 20 to 50 km below the seafloor. This was more than they expected.
The underwater volcano reached an elevation of 820 meters
The researchers discovered that a volcano had formed beneath the ocean floor and was still growing by looking at their data. The researchers continued to track the development of the underwater volcano, compiling data about its birth. The researchers had enough data to reconstruct the formation of the volcano by the time it stopped erupting.
It was discovered that the magma chamber formed in the mantle just below the crust. The magma was then allowed to rise and form a kind of dike by the tectonic movement. The initial activity caused a swarming of tremors. The magma reached the seafloor, and then escaped into the ocean. It cooled and hardened above the previous layers. The volcano finally reached an elevation of 820 meters.
Researchers estimated that the new volcano emitted lava volumes of approximately five cubic kilometers, making it the largest ever recorded underwater eruption.
Researchers believe that the volcano could erupt once again in the near future or that other volcanoes will be activated. They and other researchers will monitor the area and wait to see what happens next.