November 24, 2013

Forget the Yellowstone Supervolcano - Meet Tamu Massif, Set to be the Earth's First Megavolcano

Tamu Massif

William Sager, a marine geologist working at the University of Houston, has been working on an extinct volcano at the bottom of the ocean for quite a long time now- 20 years to be exact. In 1993, while working at Texas A&M University (TAMU for short), Mr. Sager began studying what he now believes to be the world's first megavolcano. What began as an look into the Shatsky Rise, an oceanic plateau which lies almost a thousand miles east of Japan, later became a search for proof that he had found the universe's second largest megavolcano- only dwarfed by Olympus Mons on Mars.
While most news sources are reporting that this is already the world's largest volcano and it very well may be- it is important to note that this has not been entirely proven to date. In fact, the only two forms of scientific evidence presented basically contradict each other. While sonar says that there are multiple peaks to the volcano- suggesting that it has more than one lava vent, core samples suggest that it is all the same rock, and of the same age. Exploring and understanding Tamu Massif isn't exactly an easy feat though, especially considering the fact that humanity has only explored roughly less than 5% of the Earth's oceans. While concrete answers on this extinct volcano that lies 6,500 feet below the surface are probably a long way off from current times, most of modern day science seems comfortable accepting Tamu Massif as the reigning champ.

NAME: Tamu Massif
LOCATION: 30N 158E - Shatsky Rise, Pacific Ocean
DEPTH: 6,500 FT Below Ocean Surface
HEIGHT: 14,620 FT
BIRTH: 145 Million Years Ago
EXTINCTION: Est. 140 Million Years Ago
TYPE: Submarine Shield Volcano

I wonder what else is lurking just beneath the surface..

xoxo disaster girl

P.F.S. Links for the Curious

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