Rumble in the Kermadec trench

By Peter Griffin 17/08/2010 1


As NIWA faced a scurrilous legal challenge over its climate data yesterday, its scientists were getting on with business, releasing details of the partial collapse of an undersea volcano in New Zealand waters.

As the Herald reports:

A volcanic cone on Rumble III, 200km northeast of Auckland, had crumbled. The volcano’s highest point had dropped 90m further below the Pacific Ocean, and in some places the volcano had slipped as much as 120m.

Marine geologist Richard Wysoczanski said the collapse was caused by an eruption some time in the last two years.

What does it tell us about undersea volcanoes? That they can alter the state of the sea floor much more rapidly that previously expected. Said Niwa principal scientist Geoffrey Lamarche:

“We know the movements of volcanoes over millions of years. But we often struggle to understand them in the human scale. We can now say that in the space of eight years we can have significant pieces of seafloor moving hundreds of metres in height.”

The infographic from this morning’s New Zealand illustrates the impact of the cone collapse…

Source: New Zealand Herald
Source: New Zealand Herald

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