Saturday, September 7, 2013

Submarine Volcano Identified

Last Thursday the discovery that a submarine peak known as Tamu Massif is a single volcano was reported by geophysicists in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Tamu Massif is a Shield volcano about 900 miles off the coast of Japan. Shield volcanoes have a low vertical profile resembling that of a warrior's shield because of how they are formed.

Mauna Kea
13,803 ft above sea level
The genesis of a shield volcano involves fluid lava flows of low viscosity magma that travel farther horizontally than vertically explosive volcanoes.

Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii is an example of a shield volcano expressed above sea level.

Tamu Massif erupted for a few million years during the early Cretaceous period. It has been inactive since then.

Tamu Massif is is 400 miles wide and 2.5 miles high and considered by some geoscientists to be the largest known volcano on Earth. By comparison, Tamu Massif is 25% smaller by volume than Mars' Olympus Mons volcano.
Olympus Mons, Mars
Tamu Massif , Earth
Olympus Mons is the largest volcano discovered in the solar system.

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Albert Einstein