Studies of Largest Active Submarine Eruption Are First Ever to Show Formation Process

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Underwater Eruption Off France’s Mayotte Island Gave Rise to a New Colossal Seamount

by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com

In 2018, seismometers around the world detected mysterious rumbles emanating from a usually quiet area in the Indian Ocean between Comoros and Madagascar. At the time, researchers were astonished to find a 2,690-foot-tall underwater volcano, which is about 1.5 times the height of the One World Trade Center in New York.

The volcano was formed after the largest underwater eruption ever detected and now, scientists suspect that the volcano draws its lava from the deepest volcanic magma reservoir known to researchers, reports Laura Geggel for Live Science. The study was published in August in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Scientists first took notice of volcanic activity about 31 miles east of the French island of Mayotte in 2018 when seismic hums, or low-frequency earthquakes, were detected by seismometers all over the globe. However, the huge underwater volcano shocked scientists because only two seismic events had been recorded near Mayotte since 1972. Before that, a layer of 4,000-year-old pumice in a lagoon nearby is the only additional evidence of an eruption ever found, per Live Science.

Read full article at Smithonsian Mag

SOURCESmithsonianMag.com

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