Three Million Underwater Volcanoes
Not by Fire but by Ice
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Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us
10 July 07
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|Three million underwater volcanoes|
9 Jul 07 - Researchers have counted 201,055 underwater cones, 10 times more than have been found before, and estimate that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 meters over the sea bed.
"The distribution of underwater volcanoes tells us something about what is happening in the centre of the Earth," says John Hillier of the University of Cambridge in the UK. That is because they give information about the flows of hot rock in the mantle beneath.
Since the late 1960s, research vessels have been criss-crossing the oceans using sonar instruments to measure the depth of the ocean floor. They have generated 40 million kilometres of linear profiles showing the topography of the ocean bed between 60E° North –– the latitude of southern Alaska –– and 60E° South –– corresponding to the tip of Patagonia.
But until now, no one had been able to sift through them all. So, Hillier and a colleague designed a computer programme that was able to analyse the huge amount of data and identify volcano-like shapes in the sonar lines.
The programme found 201,055 volcanoes over 100m tall. Previously, satellite data had identified 14,164 volcanoes over 1500 m high.
Hillier then extrapolated the data to estimate how many volcanoes exist beyond the areas the research vessels sounded out.
read "Not by Fire but by Ice" then you understand how
been saying all along, it's not global warming, it's ocean
Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters (DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029874)
See entire article by Catherine Brahic:
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