Hundreds of thousands of deep-sea volcanoes

And we wonder what is heating the oceans?

9 Aug 2016 – “The remnants of hundreds of thousands** of deep-sea eruptions lie on the ocean floor, deep below the surface of the water,” says this article from the BBC.

“Almost 70% of the Earth’s crust is believed to be produced at mid-ocean ridges such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge,” the article continues. The Earth’s crust is 4 to 6 miles (7-10km) thick.

We’re talking about powerful enormous volcanoes similar to Iceland’s 2014-2015 Bardarbunga volcano eruption.”

“The mid-ocean ridges form the largest volcanic systems on Earth,” but our knowledge of underwater volcanoes is woefully lacking.

“Beyond a basic understanding we know very little about these volcanic processes,” says Isobel Yeo of GEOMAR’s Helmholtz Institute for Ocean Research Kiel.

“It’s true what they say about us knowing very little about the oceans,” says Yeo.

That is why Yeo and her colleagues have been collecting detailed images of the ocean floor up to 1½ miles (2,000m) below the surface of the water.

Her findings were published just 4 months ago, in April.

The crust is 4-6 miles (7-10km) thick.

Almost 70% of the Earth’s crust was formed by underwater volcanoes pumping red-hot magma into the ocean … and we still wonder what is heating the seas?

See entire article along with outstanding images:

Thanks to Michael Gershman for this link


*  *Actually, scientists now say there are more than 3 million underwater volcanoes.



4 thoughts on “Hundreds of thousands of deep-sea volcanoes”

  1. I have read elsewhere, don’t remember the source, that back in the 1990s USGS did a global survey for submarine volcanoes, active, dormant, and extinct. Expecting thousands, they were astonished to find about 3.5 million.

    Also, elsewhere, that any at given time about 80% of the active volcanoes on earth are submarine, about 20% on land, but, out of sight, out of mind. So, estimate, if there are 50 active volcanoes erupting on land, there are some 200 active volcanoes erupting under the seas.

    But, they can’t possibly have any effect on ocean temps or climate change,.

  2. Quote:
    9 Aug 2016 – “The remnants of hundreds of thousands** of deep-sea eruptions lie on the ocean floor, deep below the surface of the water,” says this article from the BBC.
    Underwater volcanos eventually end up as very large, above surface shield volcanos, particularly those over hot spot mantel plumes such as the Hawaiian Islands, or in the region of multi rift joining zones such as Iceland or the Canaries.
    This volcano is currently surface dormant, but has been very active with a significant underwater eruptions over several years, which was mostly contained in an underwater dike area to the south of the Island.
    Significant amounts of lava were erupted into an underwater canyon. To date no estimates of the amount of CO2 or SO2 released have been made, that have been absorbed by the ocean during this under water eruption, or indeed how much heat energy has been absorbed by the ocean in this area.

  3. Not only existing volcanoes, but potential Large Igneous Provinces. Those are basically areas that produce flood basalts–think Deccan or Siberian Traps or the Columbia River Flood Basalts. All of this together has a HUGE potential to heat the oceans. And of course what is there right now, especially the midocean ridges are undoubtedly a HUGE factor in heating our oceans.

Comments are closed.