A 'petit-spot' volcano has been discovered in the oldest section of the Pacific Ocean


A ‘petit-spot’ volcano has been discovered in the oldest section of the Pacific Ocean and scientists believe it last erupted less than three million years ago

  • It was detected through data of the depths and shapes of the underwater terrain
  • The small, young volcano is about  1,500 feet high and sit off the coast of Japan
  • Researchers believe it last erupted less than three million years ago

A small, young volcano has been discovered in the oldest section of the Pacific plate.

This ‘petit-spot’ volcano is about 1,500 feet high and thought to have last erupted less than three million years ago.

This underwater mountain sits in the western part of the Pacific Ocean near Minamitorishima Island – an area researchers previously believed only consisted of islands and seamounts that formed at least 70 million years ago.

The discovery was made by researchers from Tohoku University, who suspected there was a small volcano in the area after investigating data of the depths and shapes of the underwater terrain collected by the Japan Coast Guard.

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A small, young volcano has been discovered in the oldest section of the Pacific plate. This ‘petit-spot’ volcano is about 1,500 feet high and thought to have last erupted less than three million years ago

A small, young volcano has been discovered in the oldest section of the Pacific plate. This ‘petit-spot’ volcano is about 1,500 feet high and thought to have last erupted less than three million years ago

To investigate this theory, the team pulled rock samples from the ground gathered by a manned submersible that can dive more than 21,000 feet below the surface.

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Professor Naoto Hirano of the Center for Northeast Asian Studies said, ‘The discovery of this new Volcano provides and exciting opportunity for us to explore this area further, and hopefully reveal further petit-spot volcano.’

‘This will tell us more about the true nature of the asthenosphere.”

Petit-spot volcanoes are a relatively new phenomenon on Earth. 

They are young, small volcanoes that come about along fissures from the base of tectonic plates. 

The discovery was made by researchers from Tohoku University, who suspected there was a small volcano in the area after investigating data of the depths and shapes of the underwater terrain collected by the Japan Coast Guard

The discovery was made by researchers from Tohoku University, who suspected there was a small volcano in the area after investigating data of the depths and shapes of the underwater terrain collected by the Japan Coast Guard

This underwater mountain sits in the western part of the Pacific Ocean near Minamitorishima Island – an area researchers previously believed only consisted of islands and seamounts that formed at least 70 million years ago

This underwater mountain sits in the western part of the Pacific Ocean near Minamitorishima Island – an area researchers previously believed only consisted of islands and seamounts that formed at least 70 million years ago

As the tectonic plates sink deeper into the Earth’s upper mantle, fissures occur where the plate begins to bend causing small volcanoes to erupt. 

The first discovery of petit-spot volcanoes was made in 2006 near the Japan Trench, located to the northeast of Japan.

The volcano was discovered in the western part of the Pacific Ocean, near Minamitorishima Island, Japan’s easternmost point, also known as Marcus Island. 

The volcano is thought to have erupted less than 3 million years ago due to the subduction of the Pacific Plate deeper into the mantle of the Marina Trench. 

Previously, this area is thought to have contained only seamounts and islands formed 70 million to 140 million years ago.

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