Scientists Discover A New Underwater Volcano Off The Coast Of The Island Mayotte

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A recent, particularly strange seismic event took place close to the coast of Africa, leading scientists to a significant discovery. The event was the most massive volcano eruption that occurred underwater ever recorded. This eruption could also offer scientists an explanation to another weird seismic activity, a seismic hum that circled the world in November 2018. Until now, no one had any idea about what could have caused it.

What made seismic hum strange was that it vibrated at a single ultralow frequency, which is unusual since multiple frequencies usually accompany seismic waves. Even more, no “p-waves” or “s-waves” were detected. The most interesting detail about the event is that it made the island of Mayotte move a few inches south and then back up north.

Now, with the recently recorded underwater volcano eruption, scientists might be able to formulate an explanation. According to a statement made in Science magazine, the seismic hum was most likely the birth announcement of a new underwater volcano. The dimensions of the underwater volcano are quite impressive, being 800 m high. It is located about 50 km far from Mayottețs eastern coast, and it measures 5 km in length. What is even more impressive is that it emerged in only six months.

Scientists Discover A New Underwater Volcano Off The Coast Of The Island Mayotte

The site was studied by an expedition led by Nathalie Feuillet, with the help of the research vessel Marion Dufresne, from the Institute of Geophysics in Paris (IPGP). Feuillet expressed her astonishment, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Other clues also signaled the birth of the underwater volcano. Since the middle of last year, residents of Mayotte reportedly experienced more than 1,800 small earthquakes almost every day. A more significant seismic event also took place, shaking the island with a magnitude of 5.8 in May 2018. This was the most massive earthquake ever recorded in the area, according to National Geographic.

In addition to the weird “seismic hum,” there were other clues that something big was happening. The inhabitants of the French island of Mayotte reported feeling more than 1,800 little earthquakes almost daily since the middle of last year, including a sizeable magnitude-5.8 quake in May 2018, the largest ever recorded in the region, National Geographic reported.


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