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Deep-sea volcanic eruptions create megaplumes that may have dispersed early life

By David Ferguson, Research Fellow in volcanic processes, University of Leeds
Sam Pegler, University Academic Fellow in Applied Mathematics, University of Leeds
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The ocean floor is famously unexplored and is imaged in much less detail than the surfaces of Mars, the Moon and Venus. Draining the water from the oceans would reveal a vast and mostly unknown volcanic landscape. In fact, the majority of Earth’s volcanic activity occurs underwater and at depths of several kilometres in the deep ocean.

But in contrast to terrestrial volcanoes, even detecting that an eruption has occurred on the seafloor is extremely challenging.…

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