Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Fiery Birth Of New Pacific Island

Date:
May 25, 2000
Source:
CSIRO Australia
Summary:
An international science team has witnessed the dramatic birth of a new volcanic island in the Pacific.

An international science team has witnessed the dramatic birth of a new volcanic island in the Pacific.

Related Articles


The rare event was witnessed by scientists during a research expedition to the Solomon Islands on the CSIRO research vessel Franklin.

The Franklin is returning to Darwin after two successful cruises looking at volcanic activity and associated mineral formation in the Bismarck Sea and the Pacific. From the first leg of the expedition, scientists are bringing back a world record size "black smoker" chimney from the bottom of the Bismarck Sea.

On the second leg of the cruise, scientists found the Kavachi seamount had entered a new phase of island-building eruptive activity after 9 years of apparent dormancy.

"We arrived at the seamount site to find waves breaking on the volcanic peak. Violent eruptions were taking place every five minutes", recounts expedition Chief Scientist Brent McInnes of CSIRO Exploration and Mining. The eruptions ejected molten lava up to 70 m above sea level, and sulfurous steam plumes mushroomed to 500 m. At night, the red glow of the explosive eruptions produced a spectacular fireworks display.

"We were able to approach to within 750 m of the erupting centre. We found that the volcano had grown dramatically since it was last surveyed in 1984," says Neil Cheshire, Master of the Franklin.

"Using Franklin to systematically sample freshly formed volcanic rocks from the flanks of an erupting submarine volcano is an unprecedented opportunity in the field of geology," says Professor Richard Arculus of the Australian National University Department of Geology.

The scientists were surprised by the discovery of sulfide-rich volcanic samples similar to gold ores from other volcanic centres like the Lihir mining operation in Papua New Guinea, another site investigated by the CSIRO-led team.

The effect of the eruptions on the chemistry and turbidity of the ocean surrounding the Kavachi volcano was monitored by a team led by the New Zealand Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences.

"We detected numerous chemical and particle plumes in the water column that extend at least 5 km from the centre of the volcano. This has been a great opportunity for us to obtain fundamental data on dynamic volcanic inputs to the ocean environment," says IGNS researcher Gary Massoth.

The RV Franklin returns to Darwin from the Coral Sea today (24 May, 2000), with scientists from Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and the USA on board.

Dr Ray Binns of CSIRO Exploration and Mining and his team recovered the huge submarine chimney from the bottom of the Bismarck Sea, north of Papua New Guinea. (See CSIRO media release 00/125, 9 May, 2000, http://www.csiro.au)

The world-record size "black smoker" is a one tonne, 2.7 metre high, mineral chimney prised from an active volcanic hotspring at a depth of 1700 metres.

"The chimney, swarming with remarkable microbes when collected, was formed by deep submarine volcanic activity. We expect it to prove rich in zinc, silver and gold," says Dr Binns.

The RAAF will be transporting this valuable and fragile specimen from Darwin to Sydney for further study later in the week.

More information: Jason.Major@nap.csiro.au

Digital film of Kavachi erupting available. Still photos available from http://www.csiro.au


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by CSIRO Australia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

CSIRO Australia. "Fiery Birth Of New Pacific Island." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000523203022.htm>.
CSIRO Australia. (2000, May 25). Fiery Birth Of New Pacific Island. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000523203022.htm
CSIRO Australia. "Fiery Birth Of New Pacific Island." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000523203022.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) — Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins