Wolfson Fellow captures startling images of underwater volcano

Published on:

15 May 2012

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A research project headed by Wolfson Fellow Professor Tony Watts has captured unprecedented images of violent volcanic activity deep under the Pacific Ocean, as published in the journal Nature Geoscience and reported by the BBC.

The sonar images, which show an underwater eruption which raised an area of the volcano by 79 metres, was described by lead author Tony Watts as "a wake-up call that the sea-floor may be more dynamic than we previously thought." Only Vesuvius and Mount St Helens have recorded larger growth rates.

Professor Watts said: "Any movement on the seabed has the potential to create a tsunami. An earthquake suddenly dislocates the seabed. Here a violent disturbance lasted five days with magma oozing out which might be too slow to trigger a tsunami - but it's unknown.

Further details are available on the BBC News website.