Underwater Volcanoes Can Produce Energy to Power an Entire Continent

The world is working hard to dig renewable energy sources and the findings of a recent study might have given a solution. This study stated that underwater volcanoes have the potential to produce energy to power an entire continent.

The underwater volcanoes release immense force, spewing heat and releasing material from the earth’s crust. Therefore, harnessing energy from this incredible power can be a lot difficult.

There has been not much research on submarine volcanic activity and generating geothermal energy from underwater eruptions. But the megaplume occurrences are too infrequent and there isn’t much information to understand the science and dynamics.

Previously, submarine volcanoes were thought to be less exciting, with their slow-moving lava and no ash clouds. However, a recent study confirms that underwater eruptions produce an ash cloud that drives megaplumes of hot water to spread upwards and then outwards. Megaplumes are intense, superheated water cyclones that could fill around 40 million Olympic-sized swimming pools.

Underwater Volcanoes Potent to Power an Entire Continent, Finds a Study

Underwater volcanoes release immense force, spewing heat and releasing material from the earth’s crust enough to power an entire continent | Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Scientists have used direct observations and mathematical computations to explore facts. To come up with a hypothesis, scientists have used the data collected from Northern Escanaba (NESCA) lava flow in the Northern Pacific in 2009. NESCA concluded that seawater makes violent torrents carrying volcanic rock particles called ‘tephra’, which was found 3 miles away from the eruption location.

Researchers studied the rate of power produced during the eruption and found that it was enough to power the entire US for that specific time or even days.

The study further added that there is no chance to capture this energy as it is not known when and where the eruptions are likely to occur. It also considers how megaplumes affect the organic life around the currents.

Extremophiles (organisms living in the extreme environment) have sustained this magmatic and volcanic activity. These microbes are spread in other places through megaplumes.

Underwater Volcanoes Potent to Power an Entire Continent, Finds a Study

The most likely mechanism that these thermophilic microbes are dispersed to other sites is in megaplumes | Image: NBS news

The study has also emphasized that the deep-sea hydrothermal systems may be the potential candidates for the origin of life on the earth. The extremophile life in the ocean is sustained by magmatic activities associated with submarine volcanoes.

There is much more that scientists need to learn about underwater volcanic eruptions, but if the findings of this study could be implemented in real life, the energy crisis could be averted.

Via: DailyMail 

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