Deep-sea volcanic eruption
Nearly 4,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, in a region bordered by Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa, scientists have for the first time captured high-resolution video and images of a deep-sea volcano erupting in a project funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation.
The deep-sea eruption of the West Mata volcano is producing what are known as boninite lavas, believed to be among the hottest on Earth.
For the first time, scientists have been able to observe these deep-sea eruptions through high-definition video and audio, thanks to a hydrophone that was later matched to the video footage.
In this image, we see an explosion near the summit of the West Mata volcano spewing ash and rock. The area shown is about six feet across in an eruptive area about 100 yards which runs along the summit of the volcano at nearly 4,000 feet.
December 18, 2009 3:14 PM PST
Photo by: NOAA and NSF
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