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Mining companies first spotted the Kawio Barat volcano in the 1990s with satellite altimetry. But "we were the first to go there with a [remotely operated vehicle] and actually discover hydrothermal fluids coming out of the volcano," microbiologist Jim Holden, chief U.S. scientist for the Kawio Barat expedition, said in an email. (1)
Scientists chose Kawio Barat as the first target for the expedition based on satellite information and data collected by a joint Indonesian-Australian team in 2004. The immense underwater feature served as an ideal initial target to calibrate onboard tools and technologies being used on the ships maiden voyage. Expedition scientists hope the maps and video produced from the expedition will pave the way for other researchers to follow up on their preliminary findings.
Would be interesting to compare the pressures of these vents with the GOM leak,
Originally posted by SLAYER69
reply to post by LadySkadi
So what are your thoughts of underwater life elsewhere in the solar system? You know, possible life on the outlying ice moons of the gas giants around underwater volcanic smokers?
I think the article in NatGeo answers that somewhat:
Originally posted by muzzleflash
One thing I noticed that struck me as odd, was the shape of the volcano.
I am not a volcanologist, but I am not used to seeing volcanoes shaped this way.
This one here is shaped like a full cone. Most Volcanoes I have seen on land, are shaped like a cone that had it's tip cut off, leaving a crater.
And from what I gather, aren't these craters caused by massive eruptions ?
So if it has frequent smaller eruptions, the lava can leak out and form that cone shape instead of blowing the top off. There have to be openings the lava can pass through, where they see the hydrothermal vents.
"There is fairly fresh-looking volcaniclastic sediment covering the top of Kawio Barat, and the steep, smooth slopes of the volcano suggest that it has experienced recent eruptions,
So if I'm reading that right, it wasn't an eruption that formed the crater in the previously cone-shaped top, it was instead, a collapse. But apparently they didn't see it happen so I'm not sure.
The underwater volcano growing off Hawaii's south coastline collapsed partially during the summer, according to a team of oceanographers scouting the shattered peak from a deep-sea submersible. The cave-in has provided scientists with an unprecedented glimpse into the often tumultuous process that gradually builds up volcanic islands from the ocean floor.
Malahoff and his colleagues first tried to dive to Loihi in August, but they found the water too turbulent. When they returned in late September, the scientists attempted to visit Loihi's peak, a region named Pele's Vents for its superheated geysers surrounded by a rich community of microorganisms. What they found in its place was a new crater.
"This large hole, three-quarters of a mile in diameter, didn't exist before.