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Deepest undersea eruption caught on video 18 December 2009

Posted by admin in current research, Pacific.
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An explosion at the West Mata Volcano throws ash and rock, with molten lava glowing below (NSF/NOAA)
An explosion at the West Mata Volcano throws ash and rock, with molten lava glowing below (image courtesy NSF/NOAA).

In May this year scientists studying the West Mata submarine volcano in the south-west Pacific as part of the NOAA Vents Program captured the deepest undersea eruption yet filmed on video (as your favourite volcano bloggers reported at the time). The findings and images have just been presented at the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco: the NOAA has two videos and a wealth of still imagery. West Mata is at the northern end of the Tonga Arc, and rises to 1174 metres below sea level. The water around the vents is highly acidic: microbial life is present, but shrimps are the only form of animal life to thrive around the vents.

Scientists discover and image explosive deep-ocean volcano – NOAA, 17 December 2009
Marine scientists discover deepest undersea erupting volcano – EurekAlert, 17 December 2009
Deepest volcano caught on Pacific Ocean video – BBC News, 18 December 2009
Underwater volcano eruptsThe Times, 18 December 2009
Robot records deepest erupting undersea volcano – Associated Press, 18 December 2009
Oceanographers image the discovery of the deepest explosive eruption on the sea floor – PhysOrg.com, 17 December 2009

Global Volcanism Program: West Mata – summary information for West Mata (0403-13-)
Neovolcanic activity in the NE Lau Basin – blog of the West Mata expedition

The Volcanism Blog


1. Boris Behncke - 18 December 2009

That’s quite amazing material, and if you want to see the videos in really, Really, REALLY high-resolution (we’re talking up to 1 GB video files), here are the links (on the Vents Program website):


2. Guillermo - 18 December 2009
3. admin - 18 December 2009

Thanks very much for that link, Guillermo. It’s very helpful as I was about to write a post about the newly discovered Ecuadorian volcanoes, having seen a story at BBC Mundo:


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