Three Million Underwater Volcanoes 

Not by Fire but by Ice


Discover What Killed the Dinosaurs . . . and Why it Could Soon Kill Us


10 July 07


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Three million underwater volcanoes
9 Jul 07 - Researchers have counted 201,055 underwater cones, 10 times more than have been found before, and estimate that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 meters over the sea bed.

"The distribution of underwater volcanoes tells us something about what is happening in the centre of the Earth," says John Hillier of the University of Cambridge in the UK. That is because they give information about the flows of hot rock in the mantle beneath.

Since the late 1960s, research vessels have been criss-crossing the oceans using sonar instruments to measure the depth of the ocean floor. They have generated 40 million kilometres of linear profiles showing the topography of the ocean bed between 60E North –– the latitude of southern Alaska –– and 60E South –– corresponding to the tip of Patagonia.

But until now, no one had been able to sift through them all. So, Hillier and a colleague designed a computer programme that was able to analyse the huge amount of data and identify volcano-like shapes in the sonar lines.

The programme found 201,055 volcanoes over 100m tall. Previously, satellite data had identified 14,164 volcanoes over 1500 m high.

Hillier then extrapolated the data to estimate how many volcanoes exist beyond the areas the research vessels sounded out.

          If you've read "Not by Fire but by Ice" then you understand how 
          important this is. When I started writing this book, scientists thought 
          there were 10,000 underwater volcanoes in the entire world. 

          Now they think there are three million! 

          As I've been saying all along, it's not global warming, it's ocean 
          warming ((heated by underwater volcanoes), and it's leading us 
          into the next ice age.

Journal reference: Geophysical Research Letters (DOI: 10.1029/2007GL029874)

See entire article by Catherine Brahic:
Thanks to Tom Weatherby for this link



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