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Press Release 09-243

Marine Scientists Discover Deepest Undersea Erupting Volcano

Spectacular West Mata Volcano shown in newly released video, images

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Photo of an explosion of ash and rock at the West Mata Volcano with molten lava glowing below.

An explosion at the West Mata Volcano throws ash and rock, with molten lava glowing below.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Bubbles of gas-rich magma burst, spewing lava fragments into the water.

Credit: National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

A sequence of closer views of the eruption, with bright flashes of hot magma.

Credit: National Science Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

Photo of shrimp congregating in hot, acid waters near the summit of West Mata Volcano.

Shrimp congregate near the summit of West Mata Volcano, withstanding hot, acid waters.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Photo of an eruptive blast at West Mata Volcano, with superheated pillow lava flowing downslope.

An eruptive blast at West Mata Volcano, with superheated pillow lava flowing downslope.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Photo of  a bright flash of hot magma blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor.

A bright flash of hot magma is blown up into the water before settling back to the seafloor.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Photo showing the orange glow of magma in an eruptive area along the summit.

The orange glow of magma in an eruptive area the length of a football field along the summit.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Photo of superheated molten lava, about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, about to explode into the water.

Superheated molten lava, about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, is about to explode into the water.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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Photo showing a pillow lava tube extending downslope in an area about three feet across.

A pillow lava tube extends downslope in an area about three feet across.

Credit: NSF/NOAA


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