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Unraveling the Mysteries of an Undersea Volcano

Unraveling the Mysteries of an Undersea Volcano

Washington: Kavachi, a highly active submarine volcano in the Pacific near the Solomon Islands, showed increased activity in 2024, with satellites capturing images of discolored plumes of water.

The volcano, rising 1,200 meters from the seafloor, has erupted at least 39 times since 1939, with the latest period starting in 2021.

Images from NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites showed similar underwater plumes near Kavachi on various dates in February and March.

These plumes contain particulate matter, volcanic rock fragments, sulfur, and various oxides, with their colors indicating different compositions.

Despite its challenging accessibility, researchers explored Kavachi in 2015 during a lull in activity, discovering diverse marine life within the crater.

Unlike other active submarine volcanoes with highly acidic water and “kill zones,” Kavachi’s relatively shallow crater and high surface currents allow rapid mixing.

Located in a tectonically active area northeast of a subduction zone, Kavachi produces lava
s ranging from basaltic to andesitic, known for phreatomagmatic eruptions ejecting steam, ash, and incandescent bombs into the air.

Source: Oman News Agency