Rare video of underwater volcanic eruptions

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has released two very cool videos of an underwater volcano erupting.

Click for photos

The footage comes from Brimstone Pit, a vent on a volcano on the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Arc. The volcano, called NW Rota-1, was discovered in 2004 and has since been visited several times by international teams of explorers, according to NOAA. The volcano is believed to erupt frequently, and possibly continuously.

Using remotely operated vehicles, oceanographers have been able to capture chemistry samples, up-close images and video of the vent. The first video shows billowing plumes of debris, gas and ash so rich in sulfur that a yellow tinge is visible. A second video shows flashes of red as lava is fired from the vent. In both, scientists watching the footage describe in excited voices the submarine explosions, believed to be the first ever caught on record.

Hydrothermal vents are of great interest to scientists because their unique chemistry and warm temperatures often make them rich in diverse forms of underwater life.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

Jennifer Guevin is managing editor at CNET, overseeing the ever-helpful How To section, special packages, and front-page programming. As a writer, she gravitates toward science, quirky geek culture stories, robots, and food. In real life, she mostly just gravitates toward food.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)
CNET's 15 favorite How Tos of 2014