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Can Volcanic Eruptions Supply Adequate Power For A Continent

I won’t ask you to read that again because in search of alternate sources of energy we are reaching to bizarre lengths. Perhaps ‘depths’ should I say in this case because the research of Sam Pegler and David Ferguson from the University of Leeds suggests the submarine volcanoes eruption emits energy, (~10^16 – 10^17 J) enough to power the whole of the USA.


Submarine volcanoes: Basically underwater volcanoes majorly found near tectonic plates formation called mid-ocean ridges. 

Mega Plumes: The column of hydrothermal fluid flows vertically through ocean water, origins of which are enigmatic.


The Study

So the duo developed a mathematical model based on a historic eruption. Dynamics of which, were reconstructed by analyzing the ash pattern. As ash traversed kilometers far because of the dispersion of megaplumes. Which is a measure of volume is equivalent to forty million Olympic-sized swimming pools. David Ferguson says: “The majority of Earth’s volcanic activity occurs underwater, mostly at depths of several kilometers in the deep ocean but, in contrast to terrestrial volcanoes, even detecting that an eruption has occurred on the seafloor is extremely challenging. Consequently, there remains much for scientists to learn about submarine volcanism and its effects on the marine environment.” 

Comments And Conclusion

Sam Pegler said: “Our work provides evidence that megaplumes are directly linked to the eruption of lava and are responsible for transporting volcanic ash in the deep ocean. It also shows that plumes must have formed in a matter of hours, creating an immense rate of energy release. David Ferguson adds: “Observing a submarine eruption in person remains extremely difficult but the development of instruments based on the seafloor means data can be streamed live as the activity occurs.

The attempt of this study was to understand this untapped energy and its nature. Further developments will be based on new findings. We can be confident if the potential is assured then advancements in harnessing it practically won’t be far in time.

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