In the Pacific, found one of the largest volcanoes in the Solar System




A team of scientists led by Professor of the University of Houston found the largest volcano on Earth. A huge volcano located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, an area comparable to the British Isles or the state of New Mexico in the United States. An array of Tamu (Tamu Massif) almost reaches the size of the giant volcanoes of Mars , making it one of the largest volcanoes in the solar system, according to the information resource PhysOrg.

William Seger Professor Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Houston for the first time began to study the volcano is about twenty years ago. Located about 1,600 kilometers east of Japan, is the largest array of Tama Hills feature Shatsky, underwater mountain range, formed 130-145 million years ago due to the eruption of a submarine volcano. Until recently it was unclear whether the Tamu separate volcanic formation, or a set of several points of eruption. After studying the drilling and sampling data from a research vessel JOIDES Resolution, scientists have evidence that the mass of basalt, forming an array of Tama, was deposed on the surface of a crater near the center.


An array of Tama is the largest shield volcano ever discovered on Earth. There may also be larger volcanoes lie, as indicated by the formation of volcanic origin, such as the Ontong Java Plateau. But we do not know whether they are single volcano or volcanic complex – says Seger.

Tamu is different from other undersea volcanoes are not only the size but also the form. Wide and low volcano erupted lava flows formed, stretched over long distances. The ocean floor is strewn with thousands of underwater mountains or volcanoes, most of which are small and steep slopes.
Tam covers an area of ​​about one 300,000 square kilometers (450 x 650 km). For comparison, the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa – the largest active volcano in the world – has an approximate area of ​​5,000 square kilometers. A decent comparison Tamu can only be found on Mars, where the extinct volcano Olympus, the largest known to man volcanoes in the solar system. An array of smaller Tamu Olympus is only 25 percent.

Scientists believe that the age of Tama is about 145 million years, and its decay occurred within a few million years after the occurrence. The top of the volcano is located about 2 km below the ocean’s surface, and the base is at a depth of about 6.4 km.

Scientists hope that Tam will help them unlock the secrets of the formation of large volcanoes. A huge amount of magma came from the center, and then out of the Earth’s mantle. This is very important information for geologists who are trying to understand the processes inside our planet.

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