Mayotte: the birth of a submarine volcano at the origin of earthquakes

The volcano would be 800 meters high and 4 to 5 kilometers wide at its base. Scientists are looking for a link with the 13-centimeter slump that the island is experiencing.

The earthquakes observed for a year in Mayotte finally have an explanation. A scientific mission has highlighted the birth of a new submarine volcano, 50 km east of the island and 3,500 m deep, announced Thursday the government in Paris and scientists in Paris. Mayotte.

The size of the new volcano "is estimated at 800 m in height with a base of 4 to 5 km in diameter.The plume of volcanic fluids 2 km in height does not reach the surface of the water," said the ministries Overseas, Ecological Transition, Interior and Research, speaking of an "exceptional geological phenomenon".

Mayotte subsidence

This volcano is "recent" and could have been formed "in the summer or last autumn," said Nathalie Feuillet, physicist. Since May 10, 2018, Mayotte is experiencing a phenomenon of "swarm" earthquakes, undergoing more than 1,800 shocks of magnitude greater than or equal to 3.5, according to the Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM). The highest ever recorded on the island was recorded at 5.8.

READ ALSO >> VIDEOS. A Pacific island created by an underwater volcano intrigues science

"We think that the volcano has grown since the earthquake swarm began," said Nathalie Feuillet, but we will have to wait for new surveys to see if this growth continues. "The advantage now is that we know what it is," said the physicist who added that samples of volcanic rocks had been made.

The researcher from the Paris Institute of Earth Physics (IPGB) also said that Mayotte had dropped 13 centimeters and moved east about 10 centimeters. This collapse, which is "at fairly rapid rates", continues, she said. It could be due to "draining a tank from a deep magma pocket".

"Assess the risks"

These announcements come after a scientific mission led by the National Committee for Scientific Research (CNRS), including the BRGM and the IPGP, and an oceanographic campaign conducted by the ship Marion Dufresne, returned to dock Wednesday.

READ ALSO >> Paektu, the North Korean super-volcano that super-worries the world

"Scientists are mobilized to process, analyze and interpret the wealth of data acquired over the last few months, which will require extensive work to assess the risks associated with Mayotte in terms of seismic risk, volcanic risk and tsunami," the researchers said. ministries. Three specialists of the civil security will arrive on the island as of Friday, announced the prefect Dominique Sorain.

"We will certainly increase the coverage of surveillance instruments," he added. According to Nathalie Feuillet, the onshore seismometer network will be "improved" and there will be "regular seabed seismometer deployments".

Leave a comment

Send a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.