The underwater volcano is located off the east coast of the island of Mayotte (part of it) shown here).
"We've never seen anything like it," said Nathalie Feuillet, director of an expedition of research vessel Marion Dufresne to the site, at the Institute of Geophysics in Paris (IPGP), shared the science magazine.
Besides the strange "seismic humming," there were other indications that something big happened. Residents of the French island of Mayotte have reported more than 1,800 small earthquakes on an almost daily basis since mid-2011, including a magnitude 5.8 earthquake in May 2018, the largest ever recorded in the region, National Geographic reported.
How Scientists Found It
Finding the newborn volcano required tremendous effort, including work by organizations such as the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, the IPGP and the French Research Institute for the Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER).
Part of this research involved six seismometers placed on the ocean floor near seismic activity, Science reported. These instruments showed a dense accumulation of earthquake deep within the Earth's crust, probably due to a deep magma chamber bubbling molten rock onto the bottom of the sea.
This magma chamber may also shrink as Mayotte has sunk about 13 centimeters) and moved 10 centimeters east last year, the science magazine reported.
In addition, the sonar revealed 5 km (1.2 cubic miles) of seabed magma and bladder swaths. rich water flows from the volcano. Rock samples collected on the site may reveal the depth of the magma source as well as the risk of volcanic eruption.
A volcano in the Indian Ocean?
Mayotte is no stranger to volcanic eruptions, but it is National Geographic's report that it has been at least 4,000 years since the volcanoes last moved in the area. The island is part of the Comoro archipelago, islands created by volcanism. [Sunset Crater: Spectacular Photos of a Cinder Cone Volcano]
In February 2019, a group of French researchers published a draft research study on EarthArxiv, a non-peer-reviewed website that suggested that the growl could have increased as the news of the seismic buzzing and the tiny Earthquake spread with a magma chamber. However, researchers still need to publish a peer-reviewed study of the events, and it is still unclear exactly how the strange buzz, the earthquakes and the volcano relate to each other.
It is also a mystery why volcanoes are found near the tiny island. Unlike Hawaii, which has been formed by hotspot volcanism, the volcano near Mayotte is located in the old gulf where Madagascar was demolished long ago by East Africa. It is possible that cracks from this break are the cradle of this new volcano. However, it is curious that Ken Rubin, a volcanologist at the University of Hawaii in Mānoa, who has surfaced from Mayotte, the archipelago's oldest island, told National Geographic.
It also remains to be seen if this volcano will emerge is completely new or if it sits on an older volcanic structure, the researchers said. In other words, geologists have a lot of work to do and strive to get to the bottom of this geological puzzle.
Originally published on Live Science .