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Home / Science / The Weather Network – NASA has discovered a floating island, and a volcano is to blame

The Weather Network – NASA has discovered a floating island, and a volcano is to blame



Sunday, August 25, 2019, 5:43 pm – The raft is made of pumice stone – volcanic rock filled with enough air bubbles to actually float.

When volcanoes erupt, people in the area are usually preoccupied with the usual threats such as lava flows or ashes and debris that are blown out of the cone.

Occasionally, however, outbreaks can cause a few conspicuous wrinkles, as shown in the following image: A floating & # 39; island & # 39; from volcanic rock that winds its way through the Pacific.

 Pumice Island Comparison NASA Observatory
Image: NASA

It is actually floating, and the explanation is not science fiction. The innumerable stones that make up it are pumice stone, which starts as a superheated stone that is ejected during eruptions. As it cools quickly, air bubbles are trapped in it, often making it light enough to float on the water.

This particular & # 39; island & # 39; It was first discovered on Aug. 7 by sailors, and a vehicle carrying the catamaran Roam was actually sailed on the 15th. August near the ship to collect some samples.

The crew described a "rubble chute" of marble stones
Basketball size so that water was not visible ", as well as the smell of sulfur (you can read their report here).

It is not clear where the debris comes from. There are several volcanoes in the area, in the waters off The Archipelago kingdom Tonga and NASA say the evidence points to an unnamed underwater volcano as a potential source (citing volcanologists at the Smithsonian Institute) Due to its nature as a collection of numerous small to medium sized rocks, it could not support a person's weight.

 Pumice Island Comparison NASA Observatory
Image: NASA

That excludes it as a potential vacation spot, but the nutrient-rich raft is a boon for life in the region.

"Pumice rafts can drift for weeks to years and slowly spread in the region ocean currents. These pumice boulders are ultimately an excellent home for marine organisms and contribute to the spread, "said Volcanologist Erik Klemetti of Denison University opposite the NASA's Earth Observatory Barrier Reef, in whose general direction the raft swims: Marine heatwaves destroyed the organisms last year which make up the corals of the Great Barrier Reef and other such reefs, and Professor Scott Bryan of the Queensland University of Technology told ABC that the raft had arrived in Australia. The next 12 months will be of great help in his recovery. [19659003] "We will have millions of solitary corals and many other organisms that all come together and have the potential to find a new home along our coast," Bryan told the broadcaster.

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