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Videos / Earth Sciences / West Mata Underwater Eruption







West Mata Underwater Eruption

West Mata Underwater Eruption
A high-quality film of the West Mata Volcano, nearly 4,000 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, having an explosive eruption. Filmed by the 'Jason Autonomous Underwater Vehicle'.


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Rating: 2.8 / 5 (857 votes)
Posted by nova on December 18, 2009
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Comments

Posted by nova on December 18, 2009 at 10:01 am
This sequence shows a sequence of explosive degassing events as bubbles of gas-rich magma burst, spewing lava fragments into water. At same time, lava is being extruded out of vent and downslope. Area in view about 6-10 feet across. Location: Hades Vent, summit of West Mata Volcano, 1205 m (3952 feet), 15 05.68S; 173 44.95W

Video was obtained by camera mounted on the Jason autonomous underwater vehicle. The Jason team and scientists were on board the Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson. Jason was lowered to the site 4000 ft below on a ~3/4 inch fiber optic cable while the ship held position above. The pilots maneuvered the Jason carefully into position to view the eruption. The sound on the video clips was recorded separately on a hydrophone (underwater microphone) placed on the seafloor about 50 ft away and later synchronized to the video.

Credit: Courtesy of National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
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