Geologists have discovered three submarine volcanoes near Sicily

Geologists have discovered three submarine volcanoes near Sicily

Researchers already suspected that there were two volcanoes, but the third volcano came as a surprise to them. The largest of the three is six kilometers across and rises about one hundred and fifty meters above the surrounding sea floor. The top of the three is located at a depth of about fifty meters.

Scientists do not want to reveal the exact location of the three volcanoes until the results are published. “It lies approximately between the southern coast of Sicily and the Italian island of Linosa further south,” geologist Emmanuel Ludolo says by phone from Trieste.

He works at the Italian Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (OGS) and is involved in research. In addition to the Italians, scientists from Malta, Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States joined the three-week expedition aboard a German ship. The goal: to map volcanoes and take rock materials to further investigate their history.

important research

The discovery of submarine volcanoes in the Sicilian Channel – the strait between Sicily, Malta and Tunisia – is not in itself new. In 2019, for example, OGS detected six closer to Sicily. One of them is located just seven kilometers from the coast. The Italians also have large underwater volcanoes off their western coast, in the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Palermo and Naples.

Geologist Ludulu: “This latest discovery is important both scientifically and practically.” In addition to the three “new” volcanoes, scientists can now accurately map a large swath of the sea floor.

“We have found that current soil maps are sometimes inaccurate, while it is still important to have accurate and reliable maps. They are from the mountains. Italy has eight thousand kilometers of coastline, but we don’t know exactly what is out there, funnily enough.” says the Italian geologist. “This information is also useful for ships passing through the strait and when laying cables on the seabed.”

new island

There are no indications that the three discovered volcanoes are active and therefore could erupt sooner or later. But if it did, such a volcanic eruption wouldn’t be dangerous, Ludulu thought. In 1831 there was a huge eruption of a volcano under the sea near Sicily. Ferdinande Island formed, causing the sea currents to disappear within half a year. This eruption caused a very small tsunami: only waves could be seen on the coast of Sicily. These three new volcanoes are offshore. An eruption of a volcano – which we consider unlikely – would hardly affect us.”

During the ship’s voyage, scientists also accidentally discovered a ship measuring 100 by 17 meters. The wreck lies at a depth of 110 metres, on the so-called Naamloze Bank.Anonymous bank), again between the southern coast of Sicily and the black volcanic island of Linosa. OGS has reported its location to the Italian maritime authorities.

Read also:

On the island of Vulcano it gurgles and smokes

Technicians from the Italian environmental protection organization Arpa, armed with measuring equipment, flock to Vulcano. Because the island near Sicily – after which the “volcano” phenomenon is named – roars. The hundreds of meters high crater was smoking.

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