Science 2 min read

Scientists Discover Enormous Underwater Volcano on African Coast

Mayotte Island | anymal2 / Pixabay

Mayotte Island | anymal2 / Pixabay

Researchers in France just stumbled upon a huge discovery, a new and massive underwater volcano. The volcano was not around six months ago, but a bizarre hum that rippled the waters off the coast of Africa reportedly holds the answer.

According to the researchers from the French National Center for Scientific Research, since November last year, people living at Mayotte Island in the Comoros archipelago have been experiencing small earthquakes almost every day.

Unfortunately, aside from the small tremors felt across the island, scientists had very little data to track their source. The seismometer on the island was not enough and more instruments were needed, all of which are located hundreds of kilometers away in Madagascar and Kenya.

So, to understand what’s really happening, Nathalie Feuillet, a researcher from the Institute of Geophysics in Paris, launched a campaign last February.

A Newborn Underwater Volcano

Using their research vessel Marion Dufresne, the team submerged six seismometers 3.5 kilometers below the sea, placing them right on the ocean floor and close to the seismic activities.

After nearly three months, the Frech researchers retrieved the data gathered by the instruments and were surprised by their findings. According to the team’s report, there had been an earthquake activity about 20 to 50 kilometers deep into the Earth’s crust.

The scientists suspect that the cracking and creaking of the surrounding crust were due to a deep magma chamber that contracted after feeding the sea floor with molten rocks.

Furthermore, a GPS measurement also revealed what appeared to be a shrinking magma chamber which caused the island to sink by 13 centimeters and move by 10 centimeters east last year.

The eruption led to the birth of a new underwater volcano about .8 kilometers (2,624 feet) high that spans over around 5 kilometers. While the team believe that the volcano is new, they still need to conduct further research to confirm if it is entirely new or if it is sitting on an older volcanic structure.

Read More: 18 US Volcanoes Classified As A ‘Very High Threat’ By Scientists

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Chelle is the Product Management Lead at INK. She's an experienced SEO professional as well as UX researcher and designer. She enjoys traveling and spending time anywhere near the sea with her family and friends.

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    danielle pawson May 26 at 8:15 am GMT

    So just where is it

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