After a weeks-long deep-sea expedition, an international team of scientists has discovered three underwater volcanoes off the southwestern coast of Sicily. It is unclear if the volcanoes are still active.
According to scientists, the newly discovered volcanoes are at least 6 kilometers wide and more than 150 meters high. It fits with a series of other volcanic craters already discovered in 2019 off the coast of Sicily.
Researcher Dario Civil speaks of a “very important discovery”. “The discovery sheds light on an undiscovered piece of the sea floor. The Mediterranean has been navigating for thousands of years, yet strangely we still know so little about the sea floor.”
The researchers went to sea with the German ship Meteor between July 16 and August 5 and surveyed the bottom of the Strait of Sicily. They collected rock samples, including lava deposits. More research is being done in this regard.
Al-Madani: “We have observed hydrothermal activity in the area, but it is still too early to say whether these volcanoes are active. The rocks and seismic data from the area must first be analyzed.”
Underwater volcanoes are very common. It is estimated that more than a million can be found at the bottom of the seas and oceans, but we usually do not notice the eruptions. However, they account for 80 percent of global volcanic activity.sources): Watchman