Deep-sea volcanic eruption forms huge pumice raft bigger than Paris

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

11 thoughts on “Deep-sea volcanic eruption forms huge pumice raft bigger than Paris”

  1. I d be surprised if it takes that long to get to Aus.
    anyone in the business of selling pumice for hard skin scrapers should be off in a hurry with big scoops to cash in;-)))

  2. How ironic! The people killing off the rain forests of Brazil and the Amazon are the potential wild fire victims. This week the skies above Brazil’s largest city turned black in the middle of the afternoon due to the massive wildfires that are currently raging in that country.
    Perhaps they may or may not understand that those rain forests are a major source of oxygen in our atmosphere. Those forests contain a lot of water.
    When you change those forests you also change the balance of nature.
    Unfortunately, I believe that this is just the beginning. Global weather patterns are going haywire, and so the extremes that we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg.
    The result will be a reformation of the ice age. It could happen suddenly like it did in Siberia in the past freezing animals where they stood eating the grass. That particular change probably happened in minutes.
    Once again the planet may send most of mankind back to a stone age existence.

    • Amazon basin fires are below average so far this year. Weather patterns have been trending toward the mean, not extremes. Terrestrial greening is advancing. Your narrative is not supported by data.

  3. “Once again the planet may send most of mankind back to a stone age existence.”

    Don’t worry Robert. Life will find a way to carry on.
    May be not for everyone but there are more of us this time around and we have better technological and intellectual resources at our disposal. Someone will preserve enough knowledge, technology and culture to allow for a renewal of civilization. What we are about to face might be critical to our survival as a species group but not necessarily as individuals. Nature and Justice are sometimes cruel but wise.
    For some this will be known in retrospect.

  4. Does the gasses – such as SO2 -of underwater volcanoes rise on up through the waters and ultimately wind up in our atmosphere? If so, would not they contribute to cooling by contributing to the blocking of solar irradiance from reaching Earth’s surface?

  5. I think today is the anniversary of the Krakatoa eruption in Java in, was it l883? Thousands died, and rafts of pumice with bodies going to skeletons, went all the way to South Africa nearly a year later. Farther east, Tambora erupted violently in I believe early 1800s, few people made records. Popo is spectacular but relatively safe? Watch out for the viscous lava ones they blow

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