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Can quickly heat the nearby sea to 100°C

How dangerous it is when a volcano erupts under the sea

By Flagler DanzigPublished 6 months ago 8 min read
Can quickly heat the nearby sea to 100°C
Photo by Marc Szeglat on Unsplash

The nightmare of marine animals is not typhoons, not tsunamis, but underwater volcanic eruptions.

The moment the volcano eruption

son can heat the seawater to 100 ℃, boiling water as if boiling a pot, all cooked.

submarine volcanic eruption

More horrible is that such high temperatures will directly scald the fish and become debris.

However, the terrible thing is not over, the submarine volcanic eruption is accompanied by a series of subsequent reactions, and the environment will change, and even away from the volcano fish will also be affected.

Submarine volcanoes

Although a volcano is called a volcano, the material it spews out is not fire, but hot molten rock, or magma for short.

The magma is located under the earth's crust, and strictly speaking, it belongs to the junction between the crust and the mantle because the temperature of the mantle is so high that it melts the crust to form a liquid flow layer, called the soft flow layer.

The crust is very thick, with an average thickness of about 17 km, but there are places where the crust is thin, so magma can easily emerge from here.

The pressure in the soft flow layer is very high, so magma comes out from under the crust in the form of gushing.

The ocean is just water above the earth's crust, and the seafloor is also part of the crust, so the topography that exists on land also exists on the seafloor.

If there are volcanoes on land, there will be volcanoes on the seafloor, and there are even canyons, ridges, and other landforms of all kinds.

Volcanoes are generally found where plates meet plates, such as the Tonga submarine volcano that erupted in 2022, which is part of the Pacific Rim Volcanic Belt.

The Pacific Rim volcanic belt is caused by the Pacific plate and the surrounding plates squeezing each other, don't look at the Pacific Ocean as the world's largest ocean, but it is a receiving gas bag, the area is constantly shrinking.

It is also because of this that these plate junctions have been squeezed out of many submarine volcanoes.

If the junction is on land, then it is a terrestrial volcano; if this junction is at the bottom of the sea, it forms a submarine volcano.

There are 20,000 submarine volcanoes, of which the Pacific Ocean alone accounts for half, with more than 10,000 volcanoes, so the Tonga volcanic eruption is not an accident, but just an ordinary geological activity in the Pacific Ocean.

But for the animals in the nearby waters, this eruption is also a huge disaster.

A moment of submarine volcanic eruption

The lava comes from the soft current layer, which has a temperature of 700 to 1400°C. When it is ejected, the temperature of the seawater will instantly reach 100°C or higher.

The heat spreads very fast, and the creatures nearby soon feel the heat, this heat is not able to bear, and directly cooks the creatures.

Even if you can carry this high temperature, the pressure generated by the eruption, so that the current accelerated, so that the already scarred creatures, directly by the water brush off a layer of flesh.

Sea water wrapped in coral, and sand, for creatures is tantamount to a steel brush, regardless of the size of the creature, will be hurt.

Earth's 4.6 billion year history, countless undersea volcanic eruptions have occurred, so creatures in the process of evolution have also evolved a sense of perception, they can sense the eruption in advance, and then as far as possible to leave this eruption point.

Although it is likely to escape in the process of encountering the pursuit of the eruption, the further away from the safer, drop a layer of flesh and directly cooked, marine creatures are still willing to choose the former.

But, the damage of the submarine volcanic eruption, ends here. And no, the high temperature and water wash is only the first step, the submarine volcanic eruption out of the material and the land is no different.

Water and fire mingle

Volcanic ash erupted when mixed with water together, some of the gas insides are acidic, can dissolve in water, and instantly let the pH value of the nearby sea rise.

Marine animals to be able to live inside the ocean, its extracellular fluid and seawater maintain the same pH, suddenly become acidic, will make the internal and external osmotic pressure disorders, especially many mollusks, not afraid of alkali afraid of acid.

The solidification of seawater will also destroy corals, sponges, sea lilies, and other Bentham marine life, they are the cornerstone of the entire marine ecology, and they have destroyed means that the ecology of the sea is difficult to recover for a long time.

These volcanic eruptions also bring toxic substances, even if you can resist their high temperature, its acidity, it is also difficult to resist the invasion of toxic substances.

But there are losses and gains, acidified seawater is desalinated back to normal, these volcanic eruptions out of the minerals can make the sea floor creatures recover quickly, especially the accumulation of calcium more quickly.

The first to rise above the ruins is also precisely coral, sea, crustaceans, shellfish, creatures that are extremely dependent on carbonates.

Some creatures will also choose to come back again after everything has calmed down and continue to live again on top of the wasteland and start all over again.

So are the creatures that don't live in the sea, or away from the eruption site, safe? How can that be, the people of Tonga have something to say.

The sea floor restored to life

Disaster extension

Whether under the sea or on land, volcanic eruptions are accompanied by earthquakes, tsunamis, and especially tsunamis that flatten everything where they cross.

Nearby sea islands, and reefs will be hit by the tsunami, and living creatures living around them directly by the tsunami take away waves.

These creatures inside, of course, including people, don't look at the human can go up the mountain and down the sea, but only when calm.

Once the tsunami comes, humans do not have the slightest way to resist, only as much warning as possible, and an early bailout, but for the island countries like Tonga, really want to run are no place to run.

The huge impact of the volcano will be the ash directly out of the water into the atmosphere, so do not think that the volcanic ash of the submarine volcanoes will not pollute the atmosphere, but compared to the volcanic ash on land, it spewed into the atmosphere less volcanic ash.

The amount of volcanic ash is less, but the water vapor ejected into the atmosphere becomes more, especially the volcanic eruption sends the water vapor into the stratosphere.

The stratosphere has less water vapor, less climate change, and no rain or wind, making it particularly suitable for aircraft flights.

At the same time, there is a thin layer in the stratosphere called the ozone layer, which is the strongest protective shield against ultraviolet rays.

When water enters the stratosphere, it reacts with the halogen elements in the ozone layer to generate free radicals, which directly disintegrate the ozone layer and create holes in the ozone layer.

This is a devastating blow to the earth. Ask anyone who has worked in the sun for a long time how powerful the sun's radiation is.

If there is a large hole in the ozone layer, the earth will receive a lot more radiation than it would otherwise, and the incidence of skin cancer and other cancers increases.

NASA has announced that the water vapor ejected into the stratosphere from the volcano in Tonga is fully 146 billion kilograms, and after it enters the stratosphere, it disperses to various places and destroys the ozone layer.

So, are submarine volcanoes Earth's biological killers, destroying all living creatures?

Not exactly. Undersea volcanoes are capable of destroying life as well as nurturing it.

Volcanoes and Life

The origin of life on Earth has always been a mystery. At first, scientists believed that life on Earth was born by lightning, which hit the air with nitrogen, methane, and other gases, giving birth to the earliest organic matter.

Scientists also did use experiments to prove that in the role of electric shock, the air can be born into organic matter, this hypothesis once became the mainstream of biology.

However, there is a place where this hypothesis can not be explained, that is, primitive life depends on what provides energy.

You know, this time life has not evolved photosynthesis, need external to provide energy for it.

The early Earth

At that time, the Earth's temperature was not high, and the energy given by solar energy was also limited, after all, it was still a newborn star.

At that time, the only place that could provide a constant supply of energy was the mouth of a hot spring under the sea, that is, the mouth of a volcano under the sea.

Scientists by taking the submarine volcanic rocks, a detailed study of it, found an amazing coincidence, the submarine volcanic rocks in the void, the diameter is surprisingly similar to the diameter of the cell.

This suggests that the first life was born near the submarine volcanoes, where the heat needed for biological and chemical reactions is available, as well as the material for synthesizing organic matter.

This also explains why there is so little phosphorus in the atmosphere, but biological cells contain phosphorus inside because the material that erupted from volcanoes is rich in phosphorus.

The first life was born near the submarine volcanoes of the Earth's primitive oceans, and they will write a whole new


About the Creator

Flagler Danzig

The talent is 1% inspiration adds on 99% sweat, certainly, does not have that 1% inspiration, in the world all sweat to put or bring together also only is the sweat!

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