2,200 F (1200° C) magma pouring into the seas from hundreds of submarine volcanoes – and we wonder why the seas are warming.
Researchers at the University of Bergen (UiB) have found a 932-mile (1,500-km) volcanic mountain chain hidden off the coast of Svalbard, which could soon break the surface to form a new island chain.
The range extends from Jan Mayen island in the Greenland Sea to the Fram Strait between Svalbard and Greenland.
“We have discovered five new vent fields in Norwegian national waters between Jan Mayen island and Loki’s Castle,” Rolf Birger Pedersen, the professor leading the research, told The Local. “The vent fields were discovered during a cruise with RV GO Sars in July this summer.
The last volcano was found a few weeks ago and is just 20 meters below sea level, said Pedersen, professor at the Centre for Geobiology (UiB).
“We have found volcanoes at such a shallow level and they could break the surface at any time and form a new island group,” said Pedersen.
“We have long known that Iceland has both volcanic activity and hot springs, but we thought that we did not have anything like that in Norway. But we do, it was only under water,” he added.
Pedersen made his name in 2008 when he discovered the underwater volcanic range Loki’s Castle. The new discovery comprises hundreds more volcanoes, some just 20m below the surface.
Just for the record, I’ve been talking about underwater volcanoes for years. In fact, there’s an entire chapter in “Not by Fire but by Ice” (entitled “Fish Stew”) that discusses the importance of underwater volcanoes, and how they’re heating the seas.
Thanks to Chris Crouch, StanB888, Laurel, Mondo Kane, Steven Rowlandson, David N. Wigtil and Peter Pesola for these links
“The Norwegian version of this text speaks about the activity of those volcanoes and 1200° C magma,” says Chris. “I don’t know why that information isn’t included in the English version.”
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“Just as you discussed in your book,” says David. “This article neglects, of course, the possibilities that volcanoes (rather than human heating) may be “melting the Arctic.”
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“Definitely a reason for altered currents and some warm seas,” says Laurel.
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“So the global warming in the arctic is so severe that it is even causing the ocean floor to boil up and ready to boil over the surface at any time!” says Ed MacAulay.
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“Imagine how much heat is being put into the Arctic ice from prevailing currents,” says Peter. “How much might this be causing ocean warming in the area?”