Kīlauea lava fuels phytoplankton bloom off Hawai’i Island

When Kīlauea Volcano erupted in 2018, it injected millions of cubic feet of molten lava into the nutrient-poor waters off the Big Island of Hawai’i. The lava-impacted seawater contained high concentrations of nutrients that stimulated phytoplankton growth, resulting in an extensive plume of microbes that was detectable by satellite. A study led by researchers at … Read more

Research shows why there’s a ‘sweet spot’ depth for underground magma chambers

A new study reveals why the magma chambers that feed recurrent and often explosive volcanic eruptions tend to reside in a very narrow depth range within the Earth’s crust. The findings, published in Nature Geoscience, could help scientists to better understand volcanic processes the world over. The research makes use of computer models that capture the physics … Read more

Scientists reveal ocean volcanoes have deep magmatic roots

Cardiff University scientists and collaborators at the University of Bristol and Open University have revealed the true extent of the internal ‘plumbing system’ that drives volcanic activity around the world. By examining pockets of magma contained as inclusions within crystals the large chambers of molten rock which feed volcanoes have been revealed to extend up … Read more

How to recognize where a volcano will erupt

Most of the times you see the eruption of a volcano on TV or the internet, the magma shoots right out of its top. However, it is not so uncommon that the magma erupts from the volcano’s flank rather than its summit. After leaving the underground magma chamber, the magma forces its way sideways by … Read more

Chaos theory produces map for predicting paths of particles emitted into the atmosphere

Floating air particles following disasters and other largescale geological events can have a lasting impact on life on Earth. Volcanic ash can be projected up to the stratosphere and halt air traffic by lingering in the atmosphere for months. Particles from industrial accidents have the potential to travel full hemispheres before falling to the ground. … Read more

Oceanic plateau formation by seafloor spreading implied by Tamu Massif magnetic anomalies

A new study published in Nature Geoscience concludes that Tamu Massif, thought to be the largest volcano in the world, is a different breed of volcanic mountain. The study analyzed magnetic field data over Tamu Massif, finding that magnetic anomalies (perturbations to the field caused by magnetic rocks in the Earth’s crust) are like those … Read more