Recently a new mud volcano was discovered in the Barents Sea. “A window into the Earth’s interior,” says the researcher.
400 meters below sea level, researchers from UiT and REV Ocean have discovered a unique volcano in the Barents Sea. The volcano was found on May 7 and named Borealis Mud Volcano.
– It’s very unique, you can see that the planet is alive, says UiT Professor Giuliana Panieri, who leads the expedition in the Barents Sea.
– For me, this discovery comes after more than 10 years of work and research in the Arctic and the Barents region.
An important climate discovery
The volcano is a mud volcano, and the second mud volcano, according to UiT, was found in Norwegian waters. The first mud volcano named Håkon Mosby was discovered in 1995.
The Borealis mud volcano emits a liquid rich in methane, which is a very potent greenhouse gas. Paneri believes that the volcano is constantly releasing methane, liquid and slurry from the Earth’s interior.
A volcano is a window into the Earth’s interior.
Paneri says the researcher is trying to figure out when the volcano started emitting methane, and how much methane it’s emitting. She explains that this knowledge is important to be able to provide a more accurate account of natural greenhouse gas emissions.
– If we can calculate how much methane is coming from the volcano, that can help calculate the overall climate.
The Borealis mud volcano is seven meters wide and 2.5 meters high UiT. Researchers discovered the volcano from the research vessel Kronprins Haakon, with a remote-controlled underwater robot, ROV Aurora.
– We wouldn’t be able to do surveys without the ROV Aurora. It allows us to see, touch and examine the sea floor.
The volcano is located in a crater 300 meters wide and 25 meters deep. The crater was likely caused by a “catastrophic natural outburst” of massive methane gas, after the last ice age 18,000 years ago. UiT writes.
According to Paneri, the mud volcano poses no danger to humans. She stresses, however, that existing mud volcanoes on Earth can be dangerous.
The sea floor in the area near the volcano is very rough, with lots of rocks. Banier says this makes the area a favorite habitat for many species.
Large parts of the sea floor in the Barents Sea have been destroyed by fishing vessels. But the fishing gear was destroyed and stuck in the area where the volcano is located. Therefore, there are many species that thrive there.
– the source of life for many members. like an oasis.
Panyeri is now looking forward to researching the mud from the volcano. She believes that this discovery will also lead to new technological development.
– When you make discoveries like this, you also realize that there is still so much to discover.
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