Saturday, 14 August 2010

perspective view of the kawio barat (West Kawio) seamount looking from the northwest. the underwater volcano rises around 10,000 feet (3,800 meters) from the seafloor
a huge underwater volcano has been mapped & photographed by scientists exploring the deep ocean north of sulawesi, indonesia (it's part of asean zone!)
it's called kawio barat, refering to the ocean area west of indonesia's kawio island, south of the philippines. the giant volcano was mapped by the u.s. national & atmospheric administration (noaa) ship okeanos explorer i.e. the volcano more than 10,000 feet (3,048 meters) tall.
so far the ship has mapped 2,400 square miles (6,216 sq km) of the indonesian seabed. the project is part of an ongoing mission to reveal the mysterious of the ocean floor

little hercules rov descends down to the summit of the kawio barat submarine volcano
okeanos explorer is equipped with sonar & an underwater robot, called a remote operating vehicle (rov), which is tethered to the ship & piloted by crew on board. the rov can decends as deep as 13,000 feet (3,962 m) & provides live video from the seafloor

barnacles covering sulphur structures on kawio barat volcano
"ocean-related concerns, including food security & protecting ocean ecosysytems that support fisheries, affect many nations including indonesia - a nation of 17,000 islands," said team member sugiarta wirasantosa of indonesian's agency for marine & fisheries research. "to understand & manage such things, we must first explore. that's why this expedition is so important"

little hercules rov images a vent plume as it descends to the summit of kawio barat submarine volcano
"this is a huge undersea volcano, taller than all but three or four mountains in indonesia.. & rising more than 10,000 feet from the seafloor in water more than 18,000 feet (5,486 m) deep," said microbiologist & team member jim holden of the university of massachusetts in amherst. "the more we understand these undersea features & the communities of life they support, the better we can manage & protect the ocean & its resources."

should the volcano erupt... rod & reel will be grounded, bad news for asean fishos!

credits: ouramazingplanet/ index2010/ flickr/ numerous data


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