Karela Fry

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The largest volcano in the Solar system

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William Sager of Texas A&M University (Tamu) and his collaborators have published a paper in Nature Geoscience in which they claim to have found the largest volcano in the solar system hiding in the Pacific ocean on earth:

Here we use multichannel seismic profiles and rock samples taken from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program core sites to analyse the structure of the Tamu Massif, the oldest and largest edifice of the Shatsky Rise oceanic plateau in the north-western Pacific Ocean. We show that the Tamu Massif is a single, immense volcano, constructed from massive lava flows that emanated from the volcano centre to form a broad, shield-like shape. The volcano has anomalously low slopes, probably due to the high effusion rates of the erupting lavas. We suggest that the Tamu Massif could be the largest single volcano on Earth and that it is comparable in size to the largest volcano in the Solar System, Olympus Mons on Mars. Our data document a class of oceanic volcanoes that is distinguished by its size and morphology from the thousands of seamounts found throughout the oceans.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm

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