Scientists Found the World's Biggest Volcano

The Puhahonu is so huge that its weight sank most of the volcano to under the ocean, leaving only Gardner Pinnacles above water.


NSFW    MANOA, HAWAII — Researchers have found the Earth's largest and hottest volcano northwest of Honolulu in the central northern Pacific.

The shield volcano Puhahonu is mostly submerged, with only a third of its volume above the sea level as atolls named the Gardner Pinnacles. Puhahonu means "turtle surfacing for air" in Hawaiin.

Writing in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, scientists say the research vessel Falkor charted the ocean with sonar and gravity mapping technology.

According to the survey, Puhahonu is 90 km wide and 275 km long, or twice the size of Mauna Loa, formerly the world's largest known volcano.

Scientists say the shield volcano's size was probably the result of abundant magma flowing from a very hot spot in the mantle. The temperature of the magma that created the Puhahonu is suggested by the forsterite content that is the highest among Hawaii's volcanoes.

According to the study, Puhahonu is so massive that the Earth's crust and mantle buckled under its weight, which sank the bulk of the volcano under the sea.
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