Great news: 6 underwater volcanoes have been hiding in plain sight

Great news: 6 underwater volcanoes have been hiding in plain sight
File: Undersea volcano erupts in South Pacific, 2009 - where all decent undersea volcanoes stay, far away from the breakables. (Image: Screen grab of NOAA video via Discovery, YouTube)

[Ed. – I hate it when they do that.  These are in the Sicilian Channel off Italy, but raise the obvious question where else this is going on.  Apparently the last one to have a major eruption did so in 1831, and managed to form a new island (now submerged) in the process.]

The edifice, named Actea, is one of six volcanoes recently discovered while scientists were mapping the underwater landscape of the Sicilian Channel, a heavily trafficked waterway off the southwest coast of the island. …

While most of the Sicilian Channel’s submarine volcanoes have remained quiet since written records began, one burst to life in 1831, forming the now-submerged Ferdinandea Island some 25 miles from the coast. …

Actea may have erupted again at a later date, as evidenced by the 2.5-mile-long lava flow the team found solidified off its flanks. It’s now the largest flow yet found in the northwest Sicilian Channel, according to Lodolo, who compares its size to those pumped out by Italian giants, including Vesuvius and Mount Etna. …

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Actea and one of its volcanic neighbors, named Climene, both harbor another fascinating feature: bubbles rising from their craters. … [T]hey could be the result of biogenic activity releasing methane gas, but they could also be the product of hydrothermal activity.

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