An underwater volcano offered a fantastic view of how a submarine eruption happens. A new study reveals that the majority of volcano eruptions occur underwater. After the outbreak of a submarine volcano which happened last year, researchers managed to gather more data about the event.
Scientists hope that the new clues provided by the last underwater volcano may help them determine a better understanding over the volcanoes on land, especially the ones which represent a significant threat to humans. Back in April 2015, an underwater volcano named Axial Seamount had erupted at about 470 kilometers off the coast of Oregon.
Due to some advanced equipment consisting of a network of submarine sensors, scientists could analyze the eruption of the submarine volcano closer than before, receiving very accurate data. On December 15, the team of researchers managed to present the clear outcomes of that eruption during the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
The volcano known as Axial Seamount had previously erupted in 1998 and 2011. Scientists were triggered by these eruptions, being extremely curious about how they occur deep underwater. Thus, they deployed an advanced network of which included seven seismic stations meant to help them collect information about the respective volcano.
The Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array and other observations which were gathered from these sensors helped researchers to accurately predict when Axial Seamount would erupt in 2015. One of the most significant considerations which led to the prediction was represented by the patterns of deformation on the seafloor. Based on the data provided by Scott Nooner, a geologist at the University of North Carolina, those surface alterations were caused by the movement of the magma.
He also argued that as the submarine volcano managed to recharge with magma, its surface starts swelling just like a balloon being ready to burst at any moment. During the eruption, the magma is released from the magma chamber, dripping off the surface of the volcano. What is more, another idea which indicated the explosion from 2015 was the increased level of seismicity during that period.
They claimed that before the eruption of the underwater volcano, the frequency of the earthquakes near the submarine volcano increased from about 500 a day to approximately 2,000 a day.
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