Dr. Erik Klemetti at Eruptions has a great post about underwater volcanism caught on camera: Underwater volcanism caught in action.
This is an exciting discovery - to catch an undersea volcano in action - because we don’t know much about what happens in large, underwater explosive eruptions.Not just any ol' ordinary volcanism - submarine solfataric outgassing volcanism.
The place is called "Brimstone Pit."
Underwater Volcano Eruption Caught on Camera.
June 12, 2008 -- More than 1,800 feet beneath the Pacific Ocean, the eruptions of an undersea volcano have revealed themselves on film, including the ejection of glowing red lava and the sounds of exploding gases.Apparently this is the third time they've been there. The first time was in 2006.
"It's the first place where we've been able to observe an active volcanic eruption underwater," said Bill Chadwick of the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, who led the group that observed the volcano with a remotely operated vehicle.
"Even though we think about 75 percent of the world's volcanic activity happens underwater in the ocean basins, it's a lot harder to see and detect."
The team identified the site after scanning the water in the region with an instrument that detects hydrothermal plumes -- water columns that bear the signature of volcanic activity below.
"This site had really unusual chemistry, so that's what put it high on our priority list when we went back to do the dives," Chadwick said. ...
"It's lots of gas and not much lava," said Chadwick. "The gas is the main thing driving these eruptions."
The team made the recordings in April 2006 at a place called Brimstone Pit, about 60 miles north of Guam at a subduction zone, where one tectonic plate plunges beneath another. They recently published their results online in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
"We found this big pit with rocks and molten sulfur flying out. And we were sitting at the edge of this pit."This is an avalanche of evidence. Methane gas by any chance? LOL. Nah, couldn't be, it's probably just some other type of explosive gas associated with sulfur and volcanoes...;)
Pulsating plumes of opaque yellowish ash containing droplets of sulfur started surging out of a feature called Brimstone Pit, close to the summit of a volcano named NW Rota-1, 60 miles northwest of the island of Rota in the North Pacific Ocean, at 1,820 feet below the water surface.
Also see: Solid Hydrocarbons Found In Pillow Lava.