Deep-sea volcanic eruptions create megaplumes that may have dispersed early life

Date: April 21, 2021

Source: The Conversation
Author: David Ferguson & Sam Pegler

The ocean floor is famously unexplored and is imaged in much less detail than the surfaces of Mars, the Moon and Venus. Draining the water from the oceans would reveal a vast and mostly unknown volcanic landscape. In fact, the majority of Earth’s volcanic activity occurs underwater and at depths of several kilometres in the deep ocean.

But in contrast to terrestrial volcanoes, even detecting that an eruption has occurred on the seafloor is extremely challenging. Consequently, there remains much for scientists to learn about submarine volcanism and its role in the marine environment. Now our new study on deep-sea eruptions, published in Nature Communications, gives important insights.

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