Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us


Highly active undersea volcanoes 

And we wonder why our oceans are warming

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11 May 09 - Scientists and university students from New Zealand, Britain and the United States recently investigated three active submarine volcanoes – the Brothers, the Rumble II West and the shallow Rumble III - in the Kermadec Arc, northeast of New Zealand.

ocation of a number of submarine volcanoes in the Kermadec Arc.

These volcanoes form part of a chain of about 90 volcanoes that rise from the ocean floor between New Zealand and Tonga. The volcanoes are mostly conical volcanoes – some as big as Mt Ruapehu, the largest active volcano in New Zealand. Some of the underwater volcanoes have large calderas* indicating they were formed by powerful eruptions.

The group found that one of the volcanoes, Rumble III, had erupted violently sometime during the last two years. The summit cone had collapsed, reducing the height of the volcano some 100m (330 feet) and filling the adjacent crater.

Rumble III's eruption and the catastrophic collapse of its summit is consistent with the fact that a number of the 90 submarine volcanoes along the Kermadec Arc are highly active, said Co-chief Scientist on the voyage Dr Cornel de Ronde.  

            Mt Ruapehu is 2,797 meters (9,177 ft) tall. If these submarine volcanoes
            are this large, and they are "highly active," then we must be talking about
            a tremendous amount of lava.

            Lava pours out of the ground at around 2,150 degrees Fahrenheit (10 times
            the boiling point. Active underwater volcanoes of this magnitude must be -
            have to be - pumping vast amounts of heat into the seas.

            But I guess it's more convenient to blame humans.

See entire article, entitled "Exploring undersea volcanoes"

Read more about the trip and see photos taken above and below the surface.

See great video of eruption of the "Brimstone Pit"
from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

"At any moment you felt it could go Mount St. Helens," says the narrator.
"You could see the glow of the lava inside the pit."

* Some calderas are several kilometers (miles) deep
   and more than 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) wide.




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