The Glass Wonderland Of The Ocean’s Deepest Volcanic Eruption
The ocean is home to a variety of spectacular wonders. It doesn’t take much to go into the ocean to find something that seems like it’s come from another world entirely or even another galaxy. Deep sea divers often bring back photographs of mind-blowing creatures and rock structures. The world below the waves is a daring and epic world. One of the most recent of discoveries beneath the ocean is that of a volcanic eruption happening below the surface.
A Beautiful Eruption
While many people associate volcanic eruption with death and destruction, undersea vent eruptions can cause a visual spectacle anyone can appreciate. This is certainly the case for the eruption that occurred near the Mariana Trench near Guam that happened only a couple months ago. Deep sea scientists discovered a glassy wonderland created by an eruption from the hydrothermal vents in the area.
A Rare Spectacle
According to Geologist Bill Chadwick, the eruption of deep-sea hydrothermal vents is actually pretty rare and scientists are rushing to use this opportunity to study the nature of this phenomena and share that information with the rest of the world. Not only is it a beautiful and rare occurrence, but it’s a scientifically valuable one that will help researchers in the future.
New Lava Deposits Equal Value
The deposits that the scientists found were fairly recent, which was a very good thing. Typically they come across older deposits which aren’t as useful scientifically as the chemical reactions that happen when the lava first interacts with the water have already happened. In this case, scientists can study what happens in the earlier stages of an underwater volcanic eruption, which hasn’t happened before.
Sentry To The Rescue!
The Geologist Bill Chadwick was able to make his findings with his team with the help of the underwater autonomous vehicle called Sentry. This amazing vehicle was built by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and is used to survey, collect data and photographs of the Mariana Trench region to bring back information for the geologists and oceanographers to study.
Sentry’s search turned up a large finding, much larger than the scientists had expected. What Sentry discovered were brand new lava flows, which are rare because this happens every few hundred years. The said lava flows also being 450 feet thick and stretching 4.5 miles long. These lava flows coalesce into a beautiful glass menagerie of natural beauty. Not only are these structures of glass beautiful but they also serve as housing for the many creatures who have come to call hydrothermal vents their home.
The oceans are a beautiful place and house some of the world’s greatest natural wonders. Sometimes these natural wonders are difficult to find but with advances in technology, they are becoming more common. More of the oceans are being discovered daily. Perhaps someday with more help with automotive tools like Sentry, the world can discover new depths of imagination and science.
MORE: Underwater volcanos have created a natural highway and sanctuary for traveling whales only discovered recently, baffling scientists.