In 2018, a large number of seismic alerts had been detected by earthquake monitoring businesses everywhere in the world in May and June. They created a weird buzzing sound, and a few of the alerts detected in November of that year had a length of as much as 20 minutes.
The indicators and buzzing triggered “the curiosity of the scientific neighborhood,” in keeping with a brand new examine that explains what occurred: the formation of a brand new underwater volcano. The bizarre quantity of earthquakes has been traced to the island of Mayotte within the Indian Ocean, considered one of a number of within the Comoros archipelago discovered between Africa and Madagascar.
Scientists detected 7,000 tectonic earthquakes throughout the scope of the examination. These sorts of earthquakes happen when Earth’s tectonic plates change into caught as they transfer alongside each other. The stress that permits them to maneuver on causes earthquakes.
Essentially the most extreme earthquakes reached a magnitude of 5.9 in May 2018. Additionally, they encountered 407 long-period seismic indicators. These Very Long Period alerts, referred to as VLPs, are harmonic and low, paying homage to a double bass or giant bell. And their 20- to 30-minute indicators may very well be detected lots of miles away.
The earthquakes and alerts had been coming from about 22 miles off the eastern coast of the island. Researchers could not see any indicators of volcanic exercise on this space; however, they suspected that magmatic processes could also be forming one. Sadly, there was no seismic community on this a part of the ocean ground, which means they had been onely in a position to get measurements from the island, Madagascar, and Africa.
However, they have seen a reduction of the island’s surface by seven inches, indicating exercise linked to the earthquakes. New seismological strategies developed by the researchers helped them piece collectively a year-long timeline to reconstruct what occurred.
The primary part concerned magma quickly rising from a reservoir within the mantle 18 miles under the Earth’s floor. This opened a channel within the ocean flooring, permitting the magma to move and start forming a brand new underwater volcano. An oceanographic marketing campaign in May 2019 confirmed that a volcano had fashioned in the identical spot. In the course of the formation of the underwater volcano, earthquake exercise dropped, and the bottom of Mayotte lowered. Then, the VLP alerts started.