Home > Geophysicists discover world's largest single volcano

Geophysicists discover world's largest single volcano

article image

Geophysicists say they have discovered the world's largest single volcano, inactive of course.

The megavolcano, which measures 650 kilometres across and known as the Tamu Massif, lies in the northwest Pacific Ocean, and has been inactive for the last 140 million years, according to Nature.com

The volcano has also been recognised as the widest in the solar system, coming in 25 kilometres wider than Mars' Olympus Mons.

"This says that here on Earth we have analogous volcanoes to the big ones we find on Mars," William Sager, the marine geologist at the University of Houston in Texas who uncovered the volcano, stated.

"I’m not sure anybody would have guessed that."

The moniker Tamu is an acronym for Texas A&M University, where Sager was previously employed.

Scientists are using the dead volcano to measure how much magma can be held in the earth's crust before it escapes to the surface.

Tamu Massif is part of an underwater mountain range known as the Shatsky Rise which is 1500 kilometres east of Japan.

Using air guns to send and measure seismic waves that penetrated the mountain, it showed that all of its lava flows angleda way from the summit - indicating a central magma vent.

"From whatever angle you look at it,the lava flows appear to come from the centre of this thing," Sager told Nature.
Image: Nature.com

Newsletter sign-up

The latest products and news delivered to your inbox