Saturday, November 12, 2011

Newest Canary Island pictured rising from the deep

Chelsea Whyte, contributor

AP111105168418-1.jpgThe recent earthquakes in the Canary Islands of late aren't due to Poseidon the earth-shaker, but a submarine volcano to the south of the island of El Hierro. Hot magma spewing from beneath the surface of the ocean has injected volcanic chemicals into the water, staining the sea green.

Ocean waters have been churning with heat and seafloor sediment spewed from the volcano's plume, which stretches tens of kilometres under water. The eruption of magma is venting 50 to 100 meters below the surface, but catapulting volcanic rocks as high as 19 meters in the air. The volcanic activity is warming the waters by as much as 10 degrees Celsius, reports Red Orbit.

The island of El Hierro sits on a tectonic hot spot in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco, and the volcano off its shores has been erupting since mid-October.

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