Explorers discovered an underwater volcano spewing mud and methane in the Arctic from another, larger crater, which probably formed after a catastrophic explosion at the end of the last ice age.
The researchers discovered the unusual feature on Earth about 80 miles south of Norway’s Bear Island, or Bjørnøya, in the Barents Sea. room.
The volcano, which the team named the Borealis Mud Volcano, is ordinary the second of its kind discovered in Norwegian waters.
“Explore the seabed and discover new ones [filtraciones] of methane is like finding hidden treasuressaid Stefan Buenz, a professor at Norwegian Arctic University (University of Tromsø) and co-director of Advancing Knowledge of Methane in the Arctic (AKMA). ) expedition that made the discovery.
“Every time we go down to the bottom of the sea, we feel like we’re just beginning to understand the vast and incredible diversity of such systems. [de filtración]Buenz said in a translated statement.
A submarine mud volcano is a geological structure formed by an expulsion of muddy liquid and gas, primarily methane.
The mud volcano Borealis has a diameter of about 7 meters and a height of about 2.5 meters.
On May 7, the scientists used a robber remote-controlled to capture images of the small mountain continuously emitting a muddy fluid, the researchers say it is rich in methane, a potent greenhouse gas once it reaches the Earth’s atmosphere and contributes to climate change.
The volcano is in the center of another much larger crater, which is 300 meters wide and 25 meters deep.
The exceptional formation lies 400 m below the sea surface and was probably the result of a sudden and massive methane eruption. after the last ice age, 18,000 years ago.
“Seeing an underwater eruption in real time reminds me how ‘alive’ our planet is,” Giuliana Panieri, a geology professor at the Norwegian Arctic University and expedition leader, said in the statement.
The researchers found the flanks of the volcano teeming with animals feeding on carbonate crusts. They saw sea anemones, sponges, corals, starfish, sea spiders and various crustaceans.
Submarine mud volcanoes are hard to detect and map, but researchers estimate they could be there hundreds or thousands on the seabed worldwideaccording to a 2021 chapter in Lecture Notes in Earth System Sciences.
“We are not ruling out the possibility of discovering other mud volcanoes in the Barents Sea,” Panieri said.
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These volcanoes provide a rare glimpse into the geologic processes that take place deep within the Earth’s crust, as they mostly eject water, minerals, and fine sediment from these depths.
In addition, they provide clues about past environments and conditions on Earth, and could provide insight into systems on other planets.
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