Sunday, September 08, 2013

Largest Earth Volcano Discovered

Carole sent this wonderful  National Geographic article.

It tells about the recent studies of a super volcano like other, well except the monster on Mars Olympus Mons.  

The area, now designated Tamu Massif was until very recently considered to be a collection of smaller structures.  It was very much like the proverbial group of blind people asked to touch different areas on an elephant and then describe the animal from that one localized examination.   Tamu Massif is so huge that many researchers could not see the complete structure.

And Tamu Massif is indeed huge.  From the NG article:
  • (Tamu Massif is ) A volcano the size of New Mexico or the British Isles has been identified under the Pacific Ocean, about 1,000 miles east of Japan, making it the biggest volcano on Earth and one of the biggest in the solar system.
  • Tamu Massif is a rounded dome that measures about 280 by 400 miles or more than 100,000 square miles. Its top lies about 6,500 feet below the ocean surface, while the base extends down to about 4 miles deep. Tamu Massif dwarfs the largest active volcano on Earth....
Yep you read that right, A 100 thousand mile ACTIVE volcano!

Tamu Massif is a volcanic type known as a shield volcano, like Mar's massive Olympus Mons.  This makes Tamu Massif the largest volcano on Earth and one of the LARGEST in the solar system. 

Read the complete National Geographic article written by Brian Clark Howard, HERE 

***Error update***  reader Dennis just brought an error to my attention.  For some reason I read the article to say "active"  when that is not the case.  


Dennis Dorrity said...

If I understand what I've been reading, the volcano is not active nor has it been for over 100 million years. Still, pretty neat discovery.

Beam Me Up said...

Yeah Dennis, that was my understanding when I first started reading about it, but in the article I was quoting I read active volcano.... and in a DUH moment....well you know the rest. Yes you are correct and I was about to amble off to the blog to fix it, then I read your comment. I don't want your comment to become moot, so I will just put a side note on it that you brought this to my attention.
lol, if you have been reading this blog long enough, you know that I have these type of moments a great deal of the time!
Thanks for the heads up