Volcanic eruptions are one of the most fascinating natural phenomena that occur on earth. These can have devastating consequences for human beings and ecosystems, but they are also fundamental to life as we know on our planet. “[Volcanoes] have created more than 80 percent of our planet's surface, laying the foundation that has allowed life to thrive” as mentioned in National Geographic (1).
There are volcanoes on every continent and even below the ocean! Submarine volcanoes are underwater vents or fissures in the Earth's surface from which magma can erupt. A large number of submarine volcanoes are located near areas of tectonic plate movement. Although most submarine volcanoes are located far offshore in the depths of seas and oceans, some also exist in shallower water and closer to the coast.
In Europe there are many examples in the Mediterranean Sea, particularly the Tyrrhenian Sea off the west coast of Italy. And the Canary islands, located off North Africa’s west coast, are a volcanic island chain with active submarine volcanoes in the surrounding waters. These are hazardous for human life as they not only discharge material into the atmosphere, but can trigger landslides or tsunamis during an eruption.
Explore the “Map of the week” and learn more about our underwater landscape!
Data displayed in this map were provided by EMODnet Geology