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Underwater Volcanoes a Hotbed of Clues to Earth’s Movements

February 18, 2011 Comments off
joides-ship-110216-02.jpgNight view of the JOIDES Resolution, docked in Auckland, New Zealand, before its departure. Credit: D. Buchs, Australian National University. 

Nearly half a mile of rock retrieved from beneath the seafloor is yielding new clues about how underwater volcanoes are created and whether the underlying hot spots of molten rock that lead to their formation have moved over time.

Geoscientists have just completed an expedition, part of the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), to a string of underwater volcanoes, or seamounts, in the Pacific Ocean known as the Louisville Seamount Trail.

There they collected samples of ocean floor sediments, lava flows and other volcanic eruption materials to piece together the Read more…