Can volcanoes erupt under the sea?« Back to Questions List

The name volcano instills fear in thoughts of human minds. Though the violent volcanic explosions are commonly known  for their devastating effects, there is interesting information about them. Some scientists have suggested that most of the water now on earth is actually the product of steam and other gases that escaped from volcanoes billions of years ago.

Though it sounds ironical, volcanoes can erupt under the sea. Such volcanoes are called submarine volcanoes. It can explode through the surface of the sea. Eruptions can even continue for months together. Revelation of such volcanic eruptions is done by clouds of smoke arising from under the sea. The result of submarine volcanic eruption results in formation of islands.


The surtsey island is the first island to get formed off the coast of Iceland in the year 1963 when strange clouds of smoke were seen arising from sea. By the time everything ended, the island covered an area of one square mile and rose to about more than 500 feet above the sea.

Thousands of such Sea Islands have been formed before. Most of the Hawaiian islands, the Galapagos islands off the coasts of South America, canary islands and many more are nothing but the result of such volcanic eruptions under the sea.Such eruptions help shape the attributes of the ocean. A mountain of debris piles up around the event. Built up over the course of years, a volcano may grow to enormous size. Tremendous quantities of fine grained volcanic ash and dust may darken the cloud of steam and other escape gases that escape during an explosion.

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