May 14, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Rapid Undersea Geology Observed

An undersea volcano near the Cook Islands was observed to grow and shrink rapidly in a fortnight, rivaling the rapid changes in Vesuvius and Mt. St. Helens.

The BBC News reported that a research team from Oxford “recorded huge changes in height in just two weeks.”  In fact, they were glad they weren’t there during an explosive phase, or else “rocks could have hit the hull of the ship – that could have been potentially dangerous.”

Submarine geology is “little known,” the article said.   Sonar images of the undersea volcano before and after showed rapid changes had occurred:

Later the ship returned to the scene and the scientists were surprised to see how much the volcano had changed. In the space of a fortnight, one part of the volcano’s summit had collapsed by as much as 18.8m while new lava flows had raised another area by 79.1m. Most striking was the creation of an entirely new volcanic cone.

The researchers believe the changes are larger than at most other volcanoes. Only Vesuvius and Mount St Helens have recorded larger growth rates.

The paper says the speed of growth and change is “a reminder of how rapidly geological processes such as submarine landsliding and volcanism can occur.”

The article stated that some 32,000 undersea mountains have been identified, many believed to be volcanic in origin.  Lead author Tony Watts called this “a wake-up call that the sea-floor may be more dynamic than we previously thought.”  He remarked, “I’ve spent my career studying the seabed and have generally thought it pretty stable so it’s stunning to see so much change in such a short space of time.

Live Science called the volcano the Monowai Seamount.  Based on sonar measurements from 2007, Tony Watts’ team figures the volcano must have undergone 10 to 13 similar eruptions—perhaps 2 or 3 “large, quick eruptions each year,” the article said.  If submarine geology is indeed little known, there could be many other examples of rapid undersea volcanic changes that have so far been out of sight, out of mind.

Why was he stunned?  Undoubtedly, it’s due to the fact that he was indoctrinated as a student into Lyell’s cult of uniformitarianism and Darwin’s vision of millions of years of slow, gradual changes.  His own words show that such doctrines put geologists into the bad habit of thinking in their sleep.  Let’s help amplify the wake-up call so other Darwin zombies get out of their dogmatic slumbers and face reality.

 

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Categories: Dating Methods, Geology

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