Scientists peered into the seabed. They discovered nineteen thousand new volcanoes – Earth – Science and technology

Seamounts of volcanic origin play an important role in the formation of oceanic ecosystems, influence the climate, but can also be an important source of resources. But humanity knows almost nothing about them. International scientific research tried to change that and discovered nineteen thousand previously unknown volcanoes on the seabed.

The bottom of the oceans, like the soil on land, has an extremely colorful shape. There are deserts, canyons, hills, but also very distinct features called foothills. They were formed in the same way as their counterparts on land – by the mutual pressure of tectonic plates or volcanic eruptions. She published the information Czech news television ČT24.

The main difference from the mainland is that only a quarter of the seabed is currently mapped. This means that no one knows how many seamounts there are and where they may be located.

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This poses several problems for modern humanity. For example, twice American submarines collided with seamounts, endangering the vessels and their crews. Not knowing the undersea terrain also makes it impossible to create models depicting ocean water flows. Finally, industry is eager for resources of raw materials and minerals found in the sea, but in the absence of an accurate map of the sea, the search is imprecise and expensive.

In the new research, oceanographers at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, in collaboration with colleagues at Zhongnam National University and others at the University of Hawaii, used data from radar satellites to survey the ocean floor. These, of course, don’t actually see seamounts, instead measuring the height of the sea surface as it changes due to changes in the gravitational pull associated with the topography of the seafloor.

They discovered nineteen thousand previously unknown underwater mountains that are of volcanic origin. These are active or extinct volcanoes.

In their study, the team states that important reasons for mapping the ocean floor include, for example, helping with seabed mining – seamounts hide huge amounts of rare earth minerals.

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More detailed maps of seamounts would also help geologists better map the planet’s tectonic plates and geomagnetic field. Some seamounts are also home to huge numbers of marine life, making them ecosystems that play a key role in marine life.

Most importantly, seamounts have a strong influence on deep-sea currents. When currents and mountains collide, they are pushed up, carrying cooler water with them and mixing in unknown ways.

Mapping such currents is increasingly important as the oceans absorb more heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere due to ongoing climate change, as well as the melting of freshwater from glaciers. Understanding the impact of these changes, which could affect all of humanity, is critical for everyone on the planet, the researchers add.

Source: Pravda – Veda a technika by

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