Giant Undersea Volcano Found Off Iceland 

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Giant Undersea Volcano Found Off Iceland
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22 Apr 08 - A giant and unusual underwater volcano lies just offshore of Iceland on the Reykjanes Ridge, volcanologists have announced.

"We were doing a normal oceangoing mission," said Ármann Höskuldsson, a University of Iceland volcanologist, "and we found a big edifice' about 90 miles (150 km) south of Iceland.

The structure turned out to be an active volcano that rises about 3,300 feet (1,000 meters) above the surrounding sections of the ridge, coming within 1,300 feet (400 meters) of the surface.

At its base the volcano is approximately 30 miles (50 km) across. The peak contains a caldera that is 6 miles (10 km) wide.

That indicates that the mountain is being fed by its own magma chamber, Höskuldsson said. 'It's a higher magma production that generates the edifice.'

The people of Iceland are in no danger, he said, because the volcano is so deep under water.

Mostly, the find indicates how little is known about the seafloor, Höskuldsson said.

In the United States, for example, ocean scientists studying a swarm of earthquakes off the Oregon coast are having a hard time pinning down the temblors' source, because much of the seabed is poorly mapped. (
See Mysterious Swarm of Quakes Strikes Oregon Water) 

'There are all kinds of things on the seafloor we don't know about,' said Robert Embley, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientist involved in the Oregon project.


Next year, he told the Icelandic press, his team plans to dive to the mountain with a small submarine to gather more clues as to why such a large volcano exists along the ridge.

               As I’ve said so many times before, we know more about 
              the moon than we do about underwater volcanoes.)

See entire article by Richard A. Lovett
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/52527.html
Thanks to Charles Patrick, Steven Woodcock and Martin Hoer for this link

 



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