Giant ‘island’ of floating rock so big it can be tracked via satellite.
“And they wonder why sea temperatures are rising,” says reader Paul Fazey.
(See link below for video)
23 Aug 2019 – “Giant pumice raft from underwater volcanic eruption makes its way to Great Barrier Reef,” says the headline.
Australian couple Michael Hoult and Larissa Brill detailed their experience in a Facebook post while sailing their catamaran to Fiji.
Drifting through the ocean, the sailors suddenly lost sight of water.
Surrounding their boat was a 150-odd-sq-km (58 sq mile) floating mass of pumice rocks — the result of an underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga in the South Pacific Ocean two weeks ago.
“The rubble slick went as far as we could see in the moonlight and without spotlight — we made a turn to starboard and managed to sail clear of the rubble slick.”
Pumice is formed by lava coming into contact with water.
As the lava cools it forms pumice, a form of rock with myriad gas bubbles inside. The hollow cavities thus created allow the rocks to float.
Pumice rafts pose a navigational hazard for boats as they are very abrasive, can scrape paint off boats and can get lodged in rudder systems.
Pieces of pumice from the raft should start washing up along Australia’s coastline in seven to 12 months’ time.
Video shows pumice raft visible as far as the eyes could see.
Thanks to Paul Fazey and Laurel for these links