Birth of an underwater volcano: “This thing was built from zero in 6 months!”… Which is a lot less than 12 years

Guest geological observation by David Middleton

From the American Association for the Advancement of SCIENCE! of America…

Ship spies largest underwater eruption ever
By Roland PeaseMay. 21, 2019 , 1:20 PM

Last week, Marc Chaussidon, director of the Institute of Geophysics in Paris (IPGP), looked at seafloor maps from a recently concluded mission and saw a new mountain. Rising from the Indian Ocean floor between Africa and Madagascar was a giant edifice 800 meters high and 5 kilometers across. In previous maps, there had been nothing. “This thing was built from zero in 6 months!” Chaussidon says.

His team, along with scientists from the French national research agency CNRS and other institutes, had witnessed the birth of a mysterious submarine volcano, the largest such underwater event ever witnessed. “We have never seen anything like this,” says IPGP’s Nathalie Feuillet, leader of an expedition to the site by the research vessel Marion Dufresne, which released its initial results last week.

The quarter-million people living on the French island of Mayotte in the Comoros archipelago knew for months that something was happening. From the middle of last year they felt small earthquakes almost daily, says Laure Fallou, a sociologist with the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre in Bruyères-le-Châtel, France. People “needed information,” she says. “They were getting very stressed, and were losing sleep.”


Science! As in “She blinded me with…”

Did I read this correctly?

A sociologist with the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre…


The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre employs sociologists? They don’t even employ spellcheck.

Ship spies largest underwater eruption ever

Spies? Largest? Ever?
  • If the FBI doesn’t “spy”… How can a ship “spy”?
  • I seriously doubt that it’s the “largest underwater eruption ever”.

I’m fairly certain that these were a whole lot larger:

Oceanic Large Igneous Provinces = Big @$$ underwater volcanoes.
(University of Leicester)

Yes… I know those aren’t individual volcanoes… However, all of the Hawaiian islands would have been larger underwater volcanoes before they became islands. Maybe they just mean that it’s the largest underwater volcano that has ever been surreptitiously observed by a ship.

Now that I’ve gotten the easy bits of ridicule out of the way… This is kind of a cool story.

Data from the seismometers, retrieved by the expedition this month, show a tightly clustered region of earthquake activity, ranging from 20 to 50 kilometers deep in Earth’s crust. The team suspects a deep magma chamber fed molten rock to the sea floor and then contracted, driving the cracking and creaking of surrounding crust. GPS measurements on Mayotte also suggest a shrinking magma chamber: They show the island has sunk by 13 centimeters and moved 10 centimeters east in the past year.

The map of the sea floor, made by the ship’s multibeam sonar, indicates that as much as 5 cubic kilometers of magma erupted onto the sea floor. The sonar also detected plumes of bubble-rich water rising from the center and flanks of the volcano. Feuillet says her team didn’t see the shoals of dead fish that fisherman reported, but they did collect water samples from the plumes. The chemistry of the water will give clues about the composition of the magma, the depth from which it came, and the risk of an explosive eruption.

Science! As in “She blinded me with…”
“Multibeam sonar waves, reflecting off the sea floor near the French island of Mayotte, reveal the outline of an 800-meter-tall volcano (red) and a rising gas-rich plume.

Cassidy says the new volcano is probably too deep to cause a dangerous tsunami onshore. But he is worried by the westward migration of the small earthquakes toward Mayotte, which could potentially trigger a collapse of the submarine flank of Mayotte itself. “This scenario could certainly create a tsunami,” he says.

Feuillet wants to extend her team’s mission by several months to monitor this geological mystery as it develops.

Science! As in “She blinded me with…”
Location map for Mayotte. (Earthquake Track)
Bathymetry map and earthquake epicenters. (Strange Sounds) – I could not find this image on anything other than bat schist crazy new age syfy web pages… But I’m pretty sure it’s from an actual scientific source.
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May 22, 2019 6:04 pm

“Feuillet wants to extend her team’s mission by several months to monitor this geological mystery as it develops.”

And that is the point, really, of this press release. It is to secure additional cash.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 12:18 am

or maybe you were so full of low hanging fruit you missed it.

If the FBI doesn’t “spy”… How can a ship “spy”?

Spy in this context means notices or spots, it is not a reference to covert surveillance. Do you remember playing “I spy with my little eye” as a kid?

The European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre employs sociologists? They don’t even employ spellcheck.

Centre is the original British English spelling of the word ( which derives from the French “centre” ). Since that it is the name of the institution ( ie a proper noun) you don’t correct the spelling of the name. The ill-informed pedantic snipe does not really help.

I seriously doubt that it’s the “largest underwater eruption ever”.

The article says ” the largest such underwater event ever witnessed”, which is accurate. Headlines do have to be short. It is hardly a misrepresentation to push an agenda, nor is misreporting.

The article and the discovery is very interesting. A little less snark and focus of relevant details would make it a better read. It’s a shame that you could not use your wealth of experience as a geologist to make some scientifically relevant comment.

Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 1:56 am

Headlines do have to be short.

Foxtrot Oscar.

lower case fred
Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 2:42 am

“The ill-informed pedantic snipe does not really help. ”

…Pot, Kettle.

John Adams
Reply to  lower case fred
May 23, 2019 7:37 am

To use the word pedantic is in fact pedantic.

Bob boder
Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 3:52 am


Sorry you are so off put by a little humor, you are right though spying in the FBI sense is things like sending a women using a fake name to try and seduce someone into giving you information, oh wait that happened so i guess Davids humor is on point.

Carbon Bigfoot
Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 4:47 am

Greg get a life

David’s style makes me smile and sometimes laugh out loud. I look forward to all his posts.

Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 7:44 pm

I’m with Greg on this. The press release is a perfectly ordinary one of an unusual event. Hiring a sociologist? I’ve known many people with useless degrees who end up with real jobs completely unrelated to their degree. The rest of the snark isn’t even low hinging fruit — it’s just pathetic and reflects far more on the snarker than the snarkee.

Reply to  Felix
May 24, 2019 8:08 am

Agree. As with physics, it helps to understand English use before you criticise it. I spie, with my little eye, an opinionated contrarian, not a sceptical scientist. We need a lot more work like this. I suggest El Nino can be caused by cyclic sub aerial volcanicity caused by the considerable variability in gravitational solid tides in the mantle hence crust. Bring on the ultrasound scans of the Pacific floor, where the 100,000 largish sub aerial volcanoes are.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Felix
May 27, 2019 4:59 am

Bring on the ultrasound scans of the Pacific floor, where the 100,000 largish sub aerial volcanoes are.

Above the astenosphere.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 12:26 am

A sociologist with the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre…

It does sound odd at first but a little thought may be better than a WTF. One of the main reasons we investigate seismology is understand and attempt to predict the risk to human communities in those areas and recommend when evacuation warnings need to be issued. That involves knowledge of the position, number and social organisation of any populations in harms way. Seismological Centre [sic] may need more than geologists.

lower case fred
Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 2:44 am

Perhaps the Sociologist is hired to do communications work with the general public.

Kaiser Derden
Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 4:37 am

I put in a little thought about it too … and still came to WTF … you seem to have put way too much thought into it …

“That involves knowledge of the position, number and social organisation of any populations in harms way.”

ahhh … they notify the local government … they don’t need to be familiar with the local community organizers …

Reply to  Greg
May 23, 2019 6:45 am

Maybe if they employed fewer sociologists, they wouldn’t need to beg for money in order to extend the length of their cruise?

Frank Hayward
Reply to  Greg
June 4, 2019 2:50 am

A quick LinkedIn search shows that she is a “Risks, Society and Social Media Research Officer.”
Just as you had suspected.

Reply to  Frank Hayward
June 4, 2019 6:04 am

So, she helps shape their propaganda. Got it.

Tom Foley
Reply to  crosspatch
May 22, 2019 9:19 pm

We have a choice as to how we fund research. Either we give research agencies unlimited funds to do whatever they like without any required feedback, or we expect them to justify their applications for money continuously. Making an interesting discovery and publishing it is part of the process of justifying that they are doing something worth funding. A press release is a first step, yes, a bit of kudos, but it also alerts other researchers, world-wide, of an interesting new development long before it gets into the scientific journals. Then anyone working on something similar can get in touch immediately.

The fact that you may consider some lines of research not worth funding, or faulty, perhaps climate change, does not invalidate this. At least you know about it and can challenge it.

So, yes, it’s to secure additional cash, but openly.

Reply to  crosspatch
May 22, 2019 10:04 pm

Hey – where is the climate change connection? I wonder when somebody connects the dots and discovers the obvious correlation with increasing atmospheric CO2 content.

Reply to  AndyE
May 23, 2019 12:30 am

“obvious correlation”
Thanks, I got tears!

Reply to  AndyE
May 23, 2019 1:18 am

Be patient, just wait for some CAGW troll to comment that the sea level in this area is rising because of the volcano’s CO2 emissions, ignoring the fact that the land is sinking!

lower case fred
Reply to  AndyE
May 23, 2019 2:49 am

“…obvious correlation with increasing atmospheric CO2 content.”

…and ocean acidification.

Tom Foley
May 22, 2019 6:53 pm

‘Ship spies largest underwater eruption ever.’

Spy is being used here is the original meaning of ‘espy’: to notice, or to see something at a distance previously unobserved or overlooked. This is the sense of the children’s game ‘I Spy’.

The ship’s crew didn’t actually see the volcano, it was identified later on the maps produced by the sensors. Still, it’s fun to think of all those submarines out there busy spying on other countries’ shipping accidentally bumping into a new volcano they hadn’t espied.

Reply to  Tom Foley
May 22, 2019 7:19 pm

The submarine’s onboard passive sonar will detect the rumblings although they may confuse it with a secret Russian submarine. 😉

Reply to  Rocketscientist
May 23, 2019 6:55 am

Or perhaps a USO (Unidentified Submersible Object) or something like that.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Rocketscientist
May 25, 2019 7:01 am

Interestingly enough, seismologists initially detected the volcano because it gave off a single frequency “hum” and not a rumble.
The article also notes that the island has sunk 5 inches and moved 2.5 inches to the East over the last year.

Robert of Texas
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 22, 2019 7:34 pm

They would have heard it… U.S. submarines can perform some basic mapping (as in there is a big thing directly in front of us) by listening to ambient noise. I assume other advanced submarine nations can do much the same.

Reply to  Tom Foley
May 22, 2019 7:51 pm

I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…

May 22, 2019 7:04 pm

Rifting? Cool! Wait, it’s in the wrong spot. Can they move that volcano so that it’s closer to the Arabian plate?

Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 11:50 pm

For whom?

New ecological niches…perhaps unlucky for some, lucky for others

Reply to  Sara
May 22, 2019 9:28 pm

Move the volcano to be under China’s man-made islands.

May 22, 2019 7:30 pm

Perhaps the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre employed sociologists to canvass the local population for things like “months of daily tremors”. While the information garnered is not measurable data it can point a direction towards areas to investigate. With that help a few seismic sensors have been able to triangulate the location of the tremors. Lets not be so quick to discount local knowledge.

Regarding ‘grubbing’ for research cash, this is actually an event worth further study. Aside from the hyperbole unbefitting a scientist, a press release was merited in this case.

Robert of Texas
May 22, 2019 7:32 pm

Maybe the sociologist is there to council rocks that are under too much stress?

This seems to be a basaltic volcano given the height versus width, so likely not going to “blow up”. That’s assuming the mixture doesn’t change as it grows.

I keep wondering (and have commented on this before) just how active it is under the oceans…Estimates for underwater CO2 injection could be off by an order of magnitude.

Surfer Dave
May 22, 2019 7:45 pm

‘bubble-rich water ‘
Hmmm, bubbles of what? CO2 perhaps?
Could the changes in CO2 in our atmosphere be the result of changes in the earth’s volcanoes?

Reply to  David Middleton
May 22, 2019 9:52 pm

Its literally the ONLY factor over geologic time since the CO2 is deposited on the sea floor then subducted.

Reply to  Surfer Dave
May 23, 2019 12:14 am

How about sulphur dioxide re: ‘shoals of dead fish’?

Reply to  jolan
May 23, 2019 9:32 am

More likely H2S (or HF or HCl). Lots of unhealthy stuff comes out of volcanos.

Reply to  Surfer Dave
May 23, 2019 12:38 am


Let me guess: you got a certificate of science from Bill Nye, the pseudo-science guy?
Love to hear how air made it’s way down into the depths of the earth UNDER the OCEAN to bring forth a volcano. I guess that explains all of the massive volcano of the past as well?
All those humans and dinosaurs exhaling and stuff!?!
You DO KNOW that the liars pushing this fraud have been caught in LITERALLY hundreds of lies, right? New stories out just in the last 48 hours proving their fraud. Stop letting the lying media brainwash you!

Reply to  Mitch
May 23, 2019 6:50 am

Before you get even more obnoxious, perhaps you should do some research on volcanoes and emissions of CO2 as well as other gasses.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Mitch
May 23, 2019 8:26 am

Mitch, I hope you are being sarcastic re gases from the seafloor. S02, CO2, CH4 and a variety of metals, other gases and elements abound in seafloor fumeroles and volcanic activity.

Steven Fraser
Reply to  Surfer Dave
May 23, 2019 11:11 am

The volcano will displace seawater locally, too, but not very much.

May 22, 2019 8:03 pm

Why the ridicule? This seems to be a mildly interesting story.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 11:13 am

They show the island has sunk by 13 centimeters and moved 10 centimeters east in the past year.

It’s not an island until it breaks the surface,. No?

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 7:50 am

Just curious .. this new body 1/2 mile high, three miles across .. must have come from somewhere, there should be a corresponding new hole. Maybe it is spread over a much larger area – do we know how it works?

Shaky Lank
May 22, 2019 8:40 pm

Interestingly, the EMSC uses internet traffic analysis using witnesses to contact the EMSC website when an earthquake occurs. These create a surge in the web traffic which allows them to map the location in a couple of minutes (ie flashsourcing).

May 22, 2019 9:35 pm

The article says: “GPS measurements on Mayotte also suggest a shrinking magma chamber: They show the island has sunk by 13 centimeters and moved 10 centimeters east in the past year.”

That cannot be, I tell you. The island is *NOT* sinking, the surrounding seas are rising and it is due to CAGW. The science is settled! James H, the Goracle and Gavin have so decreed so this report is not correct.

John F. Hultquist
May 22, 2019 10:43 pm

Of more immediate concern to those of us (OR, WA, & B.C.) on the “left” coast of North America is this:

Probably not going to trigger the Cascadia Subduction quake of biblical size, but unlike CO2, these quakes have got everyone’s attention.

Patrick MJD
May 22, 2019 10:44 pm

It’s alive!!!

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Patrick MJD
May 22, 2019 11:33 pm

Confession: I had a huge teenage crush on Teri Garr. What a hottie.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 23, 2019 12:29 am

Didn’t we all!!!!! 😉

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 23, 2019 10:00 am

Terri Garr was a good actress; contrast her roles in Start Trek: Assingment Earth, as an assistant in Young Frankenstein and as Ronnie Neary in Close Encounters of the third Kind.

Reply to  David Middleton
May 24, 2019 6:39 am

220, 221, whatever it takes!

jon jewett
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 24, 2019 12:30 pm

The devil made me do it!

May 22, 2019 10:50 pm

Classic stamp collectors remember the island of Mayotte — France issued this island’s own stamps in 1880s and 1900s — but not many others. I bet this esland was formed by the similar volcanic process. I didn’t know a quarter of million people live there.

Rod Evans
May 22, 2019 10:56 pm

Her is a little question for the sea rise alarmists.
How much sea rise occurs, due to new volcanic deposits on the sea floor?
Here we have evidence of a volcanic uplift and outpouring of magma amounting to 5 cubic kilometres in six months. The displacement of water has to go somewhere. This is just one of a multitude of volcanic outflows across the planet. I wonder if we did a bit more “spying” other significant structures might be found on the sea floor, no doubt raising the sea level by a few millimetres/decade.
Here is the big plus for the scientific community interested in sea water levels.
Looking for volcanoes would take them to much better/warmer places to spend time than on a frozen island in the Arctic or Antarctic watching ice flows come and go.
Think of palms swaying in the breeze on an uninhabited Pacific island. The research ship “Granted” anchored off with a fridge filled with beers, sorry I mean samples of marine floor fauna for study.
Hand me the grant application forms, I feel a research coming on…

R.S. Brown
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 22, 2019 11:27 pm


Unless the volcano erupted with cold magma, the area’s
ocean temperature will have increased along with the sea rise.

Time for yet another grant to document that.

Reply to  R.S. Brown
May 24, 2019 12:09 am

Carbonate alteration of some of the minerals in basalt will soak up some CO2…
But the reactions may be exothermic so will contribute to global warming [sorry, catastrophe…]

How are we going…

Tom Foley
Reply to  Rod Evans
May 22, 2019 11:56 pm

Of course when glaciers and icecaps on land melt, the decrease in weight allows the land to bounce back and rise up, resulting in a relative sea level drop. Maybe it all balances out.

Similarly, the rate of marine sample collection has to balance the rate of beer consumption. Or it would, if the samples were kept in the fridge; mostly they are preserved in alcohol (ethanol). Fortunately it’s not necessary to keep the ethanol in the fridge so there’s plenty of room for the beer.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Tom Foley
May 23, 2019 12:08 am

As was once famously stated, we need a bigger boat, or maybe just bigger fridges…
Actually I quite like the idea of sample collection being dependent on fridge room. That way the more beer consumed would require ever more samples to fill the free space.
Now that is motivation in operation.

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 23, 2019 6:56 am

While the volcano itself does displace sea water, magma moving out of the chamber will cause the chamber to shrink, which in turn will cause the sea floor above the magma chamber to settle.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of settling pretty close to equaled the volume of the volcano.
Pretty much a wash.
(The article mentioned the island settling by 15 cm. Probably due to the sea floor the island sits upon also settling by 15 cm.)

Reply to  Rod Evans
May 23, 2019 9:39 am

New and growing volcanic islands and seamounts certainly displace water. On the other hand older ones sink back. Take a look at the Hawaiian chain. World-wide it probably more or less balances out.

However there have been periods when submarine volcanic activity and mid ocean ridges has been much more extensive than now (much of the Cretaceous for example). This is probably the explanations for large long-term (tens of million years) changes in sea level.

Reply to  tty
May 23, 2019 12:41 pm

“World-wide it probably more or less balances out.”


We simply don’t know. We don’t know the size of the container. Until we can measure the ocean basin, and changes in it, we have no idea of the causes of changes in sea level. Theories are fine. Attribution is fake.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Gamecock
May 24, 2019 12:06 am

Its a deep subject forgive the pun. The situation is complex and not made less so, by the time frames involved.
For example. The oceans are only ever going to receive infill from rivers and organisms calcifying and falling to the bottom. The only mechanism reducing ocean depth is evaporation or the growth of land based ice volume. The weathering processes are always filling the ocean basins.
With that as the uncomfortable truth, it is fortuitous we are able to find land to live on at all after all these billions of years. It would be interesting to know what the average land height is and how it has changed over the aeons. If it is getting lower over time, maybe global levelling is a greater threat to land based species than global warmimg…..

May 22, 2019 11:22 pm

I wouldn’t sail over it those bubbles can change the buoyancy and sink you.

Joel O'Bryan(@joelobryan)
May 22, 2019 11:31 pm

Someone needs to slap a carbon tax on that sucker!
The nerve thinking Gaia can spew untold millions of tonnes of carbon without paying for it.

David Tallboys
May 23, 2019 1:29 am

Has someone worked out the effect of the 91 volcanoes discovered under the western Antarctic a couple of years ago? Some of them were apparently quite recent because of the cone shape. I thought there was some difficulty in explaining why the western ice sheet was melting faster than the eastern; but that was before they found the volcanoes.

Found by a Scotsman too, rubbing hands with glee at a lifetime of research grants!

Even The Guardian had an article on it.

Dudley Horscroft(@dudleyhorscroft)
May 23, 2019 2:32 am

Rod Evans May 22, 2019 at 10:56 pm is worried by the possibility that “volcanic uplift and outpouring of magma amounting to 5 cubic kilometres in six months” (together with other subsea volcanoes) has displaced sufficient water. to raise “the sea level by a few millimetres/decade.”

If a magma chamber is exuding magma, then the volume below the sea floor decreases by the same amount as the magma extruded. It seems that there is sufficient connexion between the new ‘volcano’ and Mayotte that the island is sinking into the hole thus created. No problem.

But look at the view of Mayotte and its submarine flanks. Surely this is an old volcano which blew its top, enabling the reef and the island of Mayotte to be formed. I doubt that the whole of the flanks have been created by coral.

The theory that atolls and ocean islands are created by corals as the sea level gradually rises/the island gradually sinks would surely lead to the island being situated at the top of a pillar of coral with vertical sides, rather than the sloping flanks as shown here. Are the Pacific atolls and islands situated on top of pillars of coral? Even if there is a mountain sinking under them?

Reply to  Dudley Horscroft
May 23, 2019 9:53 am

No, not vertical, but fairly steep. Charles Darwin figured out how in works 150 years ago:

comment image

The last stage, a sea-mount with a flat top a “guyot” wasn’t yet known in Darwin’s days. Here is a pretty cool image, an ex-atoll, ex-guyot that has been uplifted on dry land in the Afar triangle:

Uplifted atolls where the lagoon has turned into a limestone plateau is pretty common in the Pacific (I’ve visited a few myself), but it is unusual to be able to see the whole thing.

Bob boder
Reply to  tty
May 23, 2019 10:30 am

cool picture

Hans K Johnsen
May 23, 2019 4:29 am

Maybe there might be a link between the under water volcanic activity and the powerful Cyclones that hit Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe (Idai was one of them) this spring. The Ocean currents in the area are directed southward in the Moazambique channel – and would bring the hot waters from volcanic Activity to the area where the Cyclones appeared. Just a thought.

May 23, 2019 5:23 am

Wow, I am impressed! There really is not anything Co2 can’t do!

Snark aside this is useful science, just strip the sociology and political crap out of it.

John R Walker
May 23, 2019 5:55 am

I could do without the sarcasm as well. It smacks of arrogance and detracts from an otherwise interesting article.

Here is the original report on Mayotte – EMSC have been collating seismic info since May 2018.

A little research explains why EMSC employ sociologists – they are involved in disaster risk communication research as well. When there is a risk of a natural or man-made disaster people need information on the actual risks involved and they may need it quickly. They are looking at the best ways to employ technology to keep people at risk informed.

Laure Fallou is a research officer at EMSC.

Graduate in sociology, her research activities range from technology use (especially by teenagers and students) and the specific cultural codes that are adopted on social media to flood risk perception. As a sociologist her skills cover quantitative and qualitative surveys as well as multidisciplinary literature review.

What they’re doing looks useful – certainly too useful to mock.

‘At the intersection between seismology, citizen science, and digital communication, its aim is twofold: to offer timely, appropriate information in regions where an earthquake is felt and to collect high numbers of eyewitnesses’ direct and indirect observations about the degree of shaking being felt and possible damage incurred. This, in turn, will improve rapid situation awareness and augment data at a relatively low cost.’

Maybe you should be grateful they can be bothered to communicate and publish in English as well? In Europe the use of UK English is probably still more common than US English. It should not be difficult to assess which variant is being used.

John R Walker
Reply to  David Middleton
May 23, 2019 8:01 am

‘Then I recommend not reading my posts…’

For that to work I would have to remember your name!

Bob boder
Reply to  John R Walker
May 23, 2019 8:14 am

John R

David has been a tremendous source of information for many years now, I have learned as much from him here as probably anyone anywhere. I dont have the foggiest clue who you are and my guess is neither does anyone else.

David I personally enjoy your sarcasm and humor.

Reply to  John R Walker
May 23, 2019 4:13 pm

Speaking of being uselessly arrogant, none will ever top you John.
Your sense of self righteousness would put collapsium to shame.

Reply to  John R Walker
May 24, 2019 6:35 am

Wow, the butt hurt is strong in you. I’m left wondering how that is David’s fault.

jon jewett
Reply to  David Middleton
May 24, 2019 12:42 pm


“They’re pretty well all arrogantly sarcastic”

And you do it very well. My compliments sir!

Reply to  John R Walker
May 23, 2019 1:54 pm

What is your point John R?

That you rather that informative posts never be published because you take offense by the poster’s take?

You claim sarcasm and arrogance detract from the information provided; yet accept and overlook that the article is parochially written while ignoring Earth’s rift systems and massive eruptions.
The research authors ignore Earth’s hot spots, especially the ones like Hawaii that continually build sea mounts.

The researchers ignore historical evidence regarding episodic volcano building where eruptions form mountains in very short time periods.

“Parícutin was the first volcano researchers could track for its entire life: It formed suddenly in a cornfield in 1943 and within a year had grown more than than 1,000 feet tall”

From a cornfield to a 1,000 foot (305 meters) tall in one year.

Lö’ihi, a seamount (or submarine peak) located about 20 miles off the south coast of Hawaii’s big island. Lö’ihi rises 10,100 feet (3.1 km) above the ocean floor to within 3,100 feet (945 m) of the water surface.
Recent detailed mapping shows Lö’ihi to be similar in form to Kïlauea and Mauna Loa. Its relatively flat summit apparently contains a caldera about 3 miles (4.8 km) across

What should have been a simple factual statement by the researchers was lost in their attempt to use colorful words and parochial viewpoints.

The new sea mount is interesting, but neither unusual or unique. Which is why David and other, myself included are amused.

May 23, 2019 6:53 am

Maybe they should have checked Wikiepeia first….

Lōihi Seamount (also known as Lōʻihi) is an active submarine volcano about 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaii.[5] The top of the seamount is about 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. This seamount is on the flank of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Lōihi, meaning “long” in Hawaiian, is the newest volcano in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, a string of volcanoes that stretches over 5,800 km (3,600 mi) northwest of Lōʻihi. Unlike most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean that make up the active plate margins on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Lōʻihi and the other volcanoes of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are hotspot volcanoes and formed well away from the nearest plate boundary. Volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands arise from the Hawaii hotspot, and as the youngest volcano in the chain, Lōihi is the only Hawaiian volcano in the deep submarine preshield stage of development.

Reply to  Yooper
May 23, 2019 11:03 am

There are any number of volcanic seamounts. What is unusual about this one is the speed with which it has grown.

May 23, 2019 6:59 am

“The chemistry of the water will give clues about the composition of the magma, the depth from which it came, and the risk of an explosive eruption.”
Perhaps it will also allow to establish the true reason for the decrease in the pH of sea water in various places. How much longer will the IPCC push for the idea that ocean acidification is due to an increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere?

James F. Evans
May 23, 2019 8:22 am

There seem to be more underwater volcanoes spread out on the seafloor than previously known. Technological advances in the ability to observe & measure geological formations hopefully will bring greater understanding.

Of note: follow up with chemical analysis of plumes emitting from the volcano and the surrounding area should provide much useful information.

Thanks for the article.

May 23, 2019 8:44 am

Can measurements of the surface magnetic field tell us anything about volcano’s activity ?
On another thread I posted following:
During the last 350 years Yellowstone has had regular 60 year periodic oscillations, the regularity I have not come across in any other set of the data. including the link ( to the estimated surface variability at the Yellowstone area.
In a response to a request from ‘DB’ a further explanation was provided:
Long term and slow changes in the surface field are due to the long term variability in the intensity of the global field. In a shorter term there is an effect from solar activity via geomagnetic storms (22 year component) and finally there is a response to changes in the magma conditions.
Volcanic magma is not magnetic, its temperature is well above Curie point, however temperature of the lithosphere above (rich in iron compounds) slowly decreases towards the surface.
Any movement or temperature changes of the magma below will be reflected in the depth of lithosphere where the temperature is below the Curie point and therefore volume of the magnetised material above it at any moment in time.
the Y axis units are nT, with 100nT commensurate with strength of an average geomagnetic storm in the polar region, the recent GM storm discussed here on the WUWT was graded as a severe (by BGS) at 200nT (as measured at Tromso, Norway)

Bro. Steve
May 23, 2019 9:30 am

So how much does sea level rise as a result of all the undersea volcanoes?

Reply to  Bro. Steve
May 23, 2019 11:08 am

Probably not at all. As a volcano erupts the ground around usually sinks as the magma chamber empties. Only in cases wher some of this sinking is on land above sea-level will there be a net sea-level rise.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  tty
May 25, 2019 7:05 am
J Martin
Reply to  Bro. Steve
May 23, 2019 1:01 pm

I was wondering that, the volume would be about 10 cubic kilometers, I don’t know what that would translate to in terms of sea level rise.

J Martin
Reply to  Bro. Steve
May 23, 2019 1:09 pm

0.03mm ?

Reply to  Bro. Steve
May 24, 2019 6:37 am

That would depend on how many of them are under Antarctic and Arctic ice masses.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 24, 2019 1:16 pm

Not really. If you check out the actual numbers as I have posted above and elsewhere. Paper doing all the maths is here:

Per my detailed calculations based on actual estimates of sub aerial volcano numbers and specific measurements of average outputs and their variability, roughly 100,000 sub aerial volcanoes can account for all of the ice age temperature range variation and also short term and regional climate extremes through direct ocean warming, globally and regionally for short term effects. As a side effect the estimated 100,000 or so must produce enough magma to account for all the ocean rise plus a bit, if all the magma emitted at current rates simply filled the oceans and displaced water. But some of that weight lowers the ocean floors. My quantification of the emissions of all sub aerial volcanoes, most of which are in the large oceans, not many in the Arctic and 140 or so under the Western Antarctic ice, suggests 7mm pa, but clearly that is more that the actual rise, or the consequential subsidence of the ocean floor is more than would appear likely given the relative masses of the volcanoes and the ocean floor.

E&OE, critcism of the facts and applied science welcome.

Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys
May 28, 2019 5:51 am

So, a volcano on the sea floor along the equator is melting the ice at the poles? I don’t buy it. As for the bogey man of catastrophic sea level rise, ain’t buying that one either. Sea level, just like climate, is in a state of constant flux, there is no set, permanent level for seas and oceans. Studying the how and why is all well and good, it is incumbent upon those doing such to not allow their work to be used to instill a state of hysteria in the general population for the benefit of leftist political grifters. Unless those doing such study support leftist political grifters. In that case they have thrown away their scientific credentials and joined the enemies of science. See the problem there? Leads to such things as a “scientific” organization hiring sociology specialists to help tweek their findings for maximum political effect, instead of hiring more geologists to further their actual work.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 28, 2019 9:11 am

My paper is simple deterministic physics based on actual evidence. Not a theory, as quantification of reality. The paper quantifies the amount of heat entering the global oceans in varying quantities as recorded by geologists, and estimates the heat that will deposit and mix into global oceans, at 1,000 degree differential and 4,000KJ/Kg crystalisation heat, 1.4MJ/Kg. Some of that will melt ice at the poles, yes. Happens all year, every year.

If you don’t “buy it”, please let me know what is wrong with the numbers so I can improve the paper to better reflect the measured reality.

I agree the process is dominantly natural and the hype concerning the cause of change is humans is as obviously wrong and deceitful as it gets. Anyone can start by examining the temperature records for the interglacial, up and down every few hundred years at 0.4 Deg/century, never stable. Nise on the <0.1 Deg /Century long term trend (the actual rate of increase at an interglacial warming). Human lives are so short they can't notice any real global change, not even the higher rate of change of the noise in the equilibrium maintained around the longer term and lower rate of change cycles of the ice age, on which the greater noise is superimposed. The records show that, it isn't anything anyone needs to buy. It just is. But the prefer belief and being exploited in their fearful ignorance to understanding simple facts.

If you care to not buy something else, explain why the massive negative feedback effect of evaporation and the resulting albedo change caused by variation the atmospheric climate controlling SST is never quantified? The current value is around 150W/m^2. Variable directly with SST. Very short response time/low lag.

I suggest the answer is it is massively greater than the odd 1W/m^2 small perturbation humans can cause, so ruanways and tipping points are nonsense in the o fact of the dominant controls.

This combined effect is capable of stabilising the climate in the face of many well know and studied effects. Solar winds and their effects on cosmic rays hence clouds, absolute solar variability, super volcanoes and the odd asteroid strike. Since we had a thin skim of water on the 2/3 of the planet's surface the equilibrium has been returned and maintained after all such events, with a gradual fall in global temperatures as the planet cools over the last 3.5 million years of ice ages, interrupted by short warm snaps lasting a few thousand years every 100Ka recently, every 41Ka before that. The work I have done quantifies how much heat variable volcanicity has delivered, enough to produce interglacials at its peak values, and why, unlike the equilibirum established by modifying solar insolation, the atmosphere can only respond by establishing a new equilibrium/set point for the system – because the atmospheric control of oceanic evaporation can't stop the heat entering the oceans from within, as it does with clouds regulating the sun to maintain surface equilibrium. This clearly ends the interglacial warming events. I suggest this fundamental control system is a lot simpler at the macro level than modellers suggest, it's simply not weather, and the models are partial and presumptive.

The modellers assume internal heat is invariate at any significant level. The empirical evidence shows how false this assumption is on the facts. But how does magma output vary so reliably? I suggest the gravitational stresses on the Earth's mantle from our variable planetary motion that create the variable solid tides in the mantle that move the crust by significant and well studied amounts also vary tectonic volcanicity through variation of seismic effects to deliver the measured maximums in emissions when these tides are at a maximum.

Also that the planet's combination of oceans and atmosphere is a strongly self regulating system, that can cope with this variable internal heating, and much larger external effects, much more than we can create with a few engines and cow farts, as geological history proves.

All empirical, no hokey models or hokey stick statistical manipulations required. Just physics 101. Sorry for any typos. Sceptical response based on facts and physical laws welcome.

Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys
May 29, 2019 6:16 am

Still not buying it. Many very prominent “scientists” did very extensive mathematical studies proving the Earth was flat. How did that work out? Telling me volcanic activity on the ocean floor along the equator is causing ice at the poles to melt and raise sea level is simply a non-starter, make the math as complicated as you want, just not buying it. Are volcanic vents under Antarctic ice sheet causing melting? Yep. Causing sea level rise? Doubt it, since water is freezing as fast as melting in other areas of Antarctica. I do not fall for the “world is ending because ABCDE” doom crying from the political left. And if they are using your work to further their political agenda that is on you, not me.

Reply to  2hotel9
May 29, 2019 8:13 am

Your comments continue to suggest you have not read the paper. You offer no corrections to the science or the calculations. I simply state volcanic activity across the oceans, from pole to pole, raise the temperature of the global oceans, mixed in over hundreds of years.

Don’t care about polar ice and don’t believe the net annual effect is significant, nor have I ever stated it to be such. You made that up. That magma warms oceans and that heat equalises over time by mixing and conduction is indisputable science. Only how much in how long is debatable.

With no technically valid criticism to reply to, just opinion, some wholly inaccurate, I have no considered response to make. What is wrong with my numbers and physics?

Reply to  Brian RL Catt CEng, CPhys
May 30, 2019 7:31 am

The question asked was “So how much does sea level rise as a result of all the undersea volcanoes?” I posted “That would depend on how many of them are under Antarctic and Arctic ice masses.”. I have yet to figure out exactly what it is you are trying to say. Yes or no, are volcanoes on the sea floor causing sea level rise? If they are not melting ice at the poles just how are they causing sea level rise, if they are at all? Clear enough?

May 23, 2019 10:57 am

Laure Fallou is a seismosociologist. There are some mentions on Google, so I guess it is real, some kind of new field. Only time will tell if it’s fruitful.

“Several Theoratical Problems in – Gated.

“In this paper we systematically discussed some important theoretical problems about the new-developed subject-seismosociology. First,the macro-environment in which seismosociology emerged and developed is specified, Second, we explored the meaning nature, object, task and method of it. Finally, we pointed out the importance of the cooperation between seismologists and sociologists in studying and developing this new subject.”


“Three factors of people’ sense from earthquake danger are as follows: possible destructive degree of predicted earthquake, accuracy of prediction and urgency degree of possible forthcoming earthquake. These factors are not only relayed to earthquake prediction, but also are closerly related to seismosoci-ological problems. In the future, we need to study the seismosociological problem under the superposition of earthquake problem with other various serious unfavourable events.“

Joel O’Bryan(@joelobryan)
Reply to  Larry Kummer
May 23, 2019 2:14 pm

Drop the seismo.
She is simply a sociologist addressing human behavior and fear responses (human emotions). She is not addressing any physical system behavior or characteristics. If she were studying people’s fears of tornados, would we call her a tornadosociologist? Of course not.

Compare this to an astrobiologist. An astrobiologist addresses possible alternatives to Earth biology in alien environments. They apply physical rules of free energy equations, known physical properties of water and energy transport, and construction of molecules in alien environments that could perform enzymatic reactions and self replication of patterns of molecules.

The harsh fact is just that social sciences really aren’t science.

Reply to  Larry Kummer
May 23, 2019 4:16 pm

Don’t be so open minded that your brains fall out.

May 23, 2019 1:11 pm

My interest is in short and long term climate modification ny variable volcanic activity, from 100Ka global ice age cause to short term localised extreme and also seasonal effects. I alrady asked if there was an warm ocean blob associated with theextreme and unusual weather in Madagascar and East Africa, et voila!

So this is easy to assess for me.

And now it seems a bloody great new volcano 5Km^3 popped up on the sea floor in the designated area.

Is there a warm ocean blob as I suggested? Can’t see how there won’t be if that much magma has hit the ocean in a few months….. numbers…..

5Km^3 is 5×10^9 m^3 so 14×10^9 tonnes at 1.4×10^9 Joules per tonne for crystalised magma = 20×10^18 Joules.

That’s enough to warm 5×10^15Kg of ocean by one degree, hence roughly 5×10^15 Cubic metres.

So that’s a volume of water of 5 Million cubic Kilometres raised by 1 degree K, or a smaller amount by more, all in 6 months. The heat will rise so SST must have risen, hence more extreme evaporation in the localised area, et voila….… I suggest the climate event cause was a volcano, under the ocean, with magma. CO2 is innocent!

May 23, 2019 2:23 pm

The quarter-million people living on the French island of Mayotte in the Comoros archipelago knew for months that something was happening. …“They were getting very stressed, and were losing sleep.”

I blame Trump. Or maybe global warming. Or maybe both.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Pat Frank
May 24, 2019 12:15 am

Don’t forget Brexit…when ever an event is looking for a cause Brexit is always there, just ask the BBC.

May 23, 2019 4:18 pm

Yukcevic: Some time ago you posted about the Earth’s north magnetic pole splitting between Siberia and Northern Canada and about how the magnetosphere has been modified and it may be affecting the Polar Jet and Vortex. Did I get that right? Anyway, it’s an interesting hypothesis since things are being very strange now and the normal models can’t explain it. This is an interesting sitrep:

David C
May 24, 2019 1:04 pm

In case you were serious about where the image for the earthquake map came from. I plotted a similar one on the USGS earthquake map. I would post the whole link but since the filters are included in the link it is very long so I used a URL shortner.

May 25, 2019 4:14 am

Could this happen anywhere ihe world? Do we have a volcano emergency?

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