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Jul 29 / Dave Schumaker

Tsunami Threat by Undersea Volcanoes

Submerged volcanoes in the South Pacific can erupt at any time, and are apparently the source of a very dangerous tsunami hazard according to a new study done by researchers at Australian National University. “Over the last six years, research teams from Australia, New Zealand, the USA, and Germany have mapped a relatively narrow strip of ocean stretching about 2000 kilometres from the north of New Zealand to Tonga, and found 75 previously unknown volcanoes. Only 10 volcanoes were known in the area prior to this research,” he said. “If any one of these underwater volcanoes either explosively erupts or collapses in a sudden movement, it would have a massive impact on the ocean, triggering a tsunami which could devastate communities across the region. There is evidence from new high-resolution images of these volcanoes that these events have happened many times in the past.

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