Shop Windows to the Universe

Earth Science Rocks! Select one of our four cool NESTA t-shirts from our online store, and express your love of Earth and space science!

Movie courtesy of NSF and NOAA.

Undersea Volcano Erupts

This spectacular video shows an underwater volcano erupting nearly 1,200 meters (4,000 feet) beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean. West Mata Volcano is on the sea floor between the islands of Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. These movies were taken by the remotely-operated robotic submarine Jason in May 2009.

Scientists think that about 80% of volcanic eruptions on Earth occur in the oceans. Most volcanoes are in the deep sea. Although the water around the volcano is both hot and acidic, extremophile microbes and specially adapted shrimp somehow manage to survive in this hostile environment.

Right-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) here to download a copy of this movie in QuickTime format.

Last modified February 22, 2010 by Randy Russell.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

Extreme Environments - Temperature and Moisture

This page describes environments that are very hot or very cold, extremely dry, or both. Extreme environments are places that are inhospitable to most "normal" living creatures. Extreme environments are...more

Extreme Environments - Acid, Radiation, and More!

This page describes extreme environments that are acidic or alkaline, are exposed to high levels of radiation, are under tremendous pressure, or are hostile to "normal" life in a number of other unusual...more

Extremophiles

Some environments are inhospitable to most "normal" living creatures. However, these extreme environments are not necessarily lifeless. Certain types of organisms, known collectively as "extremophiles",...more

Life in the Deep Ocean

The deep ocean is very cold, under high pressure, and always dark because sunlight can not penetrate that far. The only light comes from bioluminescence a chemical reaction inside the bodies of some...more

Volcanic Ash

Ash is made of millions of tiny fragments of rock and glass formed during a volcanic eruption. Volcanic ash particles are less than 2 mm in size and can be much smaller. Volcanic ash forms in several ways...more

Cinder Cones

Cinder cones are simple volcanoes which have a bowl-shaped crater at the summit and rarely rise more than a thousand feet above their surroundings. They usually are created of eruptions from a single vent,...more

Flowing Lava

Lava can move in broad flat lava flows, or it can move through constrictive channels or tubes. Lava flows have a large surface area so they tend to cool quickly and flow slowly. The fastest unconstricted...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF