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Satellite images from NASA have captured the underwater eruption of the Kavachi Volcano in the Pacific Ocean’s Solomon Islands.
One of the most active submarine volcanoes in the ocean, scientists found in a 2015 expedition to the volcano that there were two species of sharks living in what has been dubbed a “Sharkcano.”
Hammerheads reside there as well as microbial communities that thrive on sulfur.
The summit of the Sharkcano is estimated to lie 65 feet below sea level, with its base at a depth of 0.75 miles.
The images, acquired on May 14, 2022, by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9, show a plume of discolored water – usually made up of particulate matter, volcanic rock fragments and sulfur – as it’s emitted from the volcano.
Other satellite data revealed discolored water around Kavachi on several days in April and May.
According to the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program, the volcano entered an eruptive phase in October of last year.
Kavachi, named for a sea god of the Gatokae and Vangunu peoples, is approximately 15 miles south of Vangunu Island.
Previously, eruptions were observed at the underwater volcano in 2014 and 2007, as the volcano erupts nearly continuously.
Since its first recorded eruption in 1939, Kavachi has created several islands that have eroded and washed away by wave action.
“Kavachi formed in a tectonically active area—a subduction zone lies 30 kilometers (18 miles) to the southwest. The volcano produces lavas that range from basaltic, which is rich in magnesium and iron, to andesitic, which contains more silica. It is known for having phreatomagmatic eruptions in which the interaction of magma and water cause explosive eruptions that eject steam, ash, volcanic rock fragments, and incandescent bombs,” the NASA Earth Observatory wrote in a post.