Explorers view undersea volcano more than 10,000 feet high


In the first week of a joint Indonesia-U.S. exploration of the deep ocean north of Sulawesi, Indonesia, NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer's built-in multibeam sonar mapped a huge undersea volcano while cameras on the ship's remotely-operated vehicle took high-definition images of the feature called Kawio Barat, referring to the ocean area west of Kawio Islands.

"This is a huge undersea volcano, taller than all but three or four mountains in Indonesia and rising more than 10,000 feet from the seafloor in water more than eighteen thousand feet deep," said Jim Holden, U.S. chief scientist for the first leg of the joint expedition and a microbiologist from the University of Massachusetts, who is operating from an exploration command center in Jakarta, Indonesia. "The more we understand these undersea features and the communities of life they support, the better we can manage and protect the ocean and its resources."

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