The largest underwater eruption caused a massive volcano to rise from the seabed, which led researchers to investigate.
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On May 10, 2018, researchers recorded a seismic event that caused a volcanic island to emerge from the seabed between Madagascar and East Africa. Within days of the island’s emergence, researchers recorded a 5.8 earthquake that was traced back to underwater volcanic activity. In February 2019, teams of researchers mapped 3,320 square miles of the seabed with sonar in an effort to gain insight into the event.
The researchers found that more than 17,000 seismic events occurred between February and May 2019 at a depth of 30 miles below the seabed. The researchers called the discovery of these seismic events “very unusualFrom these observations, the researchers were able to build a model of the formation of the volcanic island and found that the island began with magma under the molten mantle.
The researchers explained: “The earthquakes have been much deeper than usual in a volcanic context and occur below the limit between the crust and the mantle. They indicate the existence of very deep reservoirs and drainage systems distributed throughout the lithosphere, which had never been clearly observed before in volcanology.“
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