Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

7500sq Miles of Pumice from Underwater Volcano Located

10 August 2012

Defence Force Locates 7500sq Miles of Pumice from Underwater Volcano

An area of floating pumice 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide was spotted in the South Pacific ocean yesterday by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Orion.

The RNZAF Orion, which was on Maritime patrol from Samoa to New Zealand, relayed the information to HMNZS CANTERBURY and last night, approximately 85 nautical miles West South-West of Raoul Island CANTERBURY spotted the phenomenon.

An area of floating pumice 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide was spotted in the South Pacific ocean yesterday by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Orion.
Click for big version.

Lieutenant (LT) Tim Oscar, a Royal Australian Navy officer on a three year exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy, saw what he describes as, "the wierdest thing I've seen in 18 years at sea."

"The lookout reported a shadow on the ocean ahead of us so I ordered the ship's spotlight to be trained on the area.

"As far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell.

"The rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves, and lit up a brilliant white colour in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf," said LT Oscar.

LT Oscar said he had been briefed by GNS Volcanologist Helen Bostock the previous day when the ship first encountered an area of pumice from an undersea volcano.

An area of floating pumice 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide was spotted in the South Pacific ocean yesterday by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Orion.
Click for big version.

"I knew the pumice was lightweight and posed no danger to the ship. None the less it was quite daunting to be moving toward it at 14 knots. It took about 3 - 4 minutes to travel through the raft of pumice and as predicted there was no damage. As we moved through the raft of pumice we used the spotlights to try and find the edge - but it extended as far as we could see."

HMNZS CANTERBURY is on passage from Auckland to Raoul Island in the Kermadec Group with a party of GNS scientists onboard. The Commanding Officer, Commander Sean Stewart changed course to intercept the pumice, and brought the ship to a halt to enable retrieval of samples. The samples will be analysed to determine which volcano they came from.

An area of floating pumice 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide was spotted in the South Pacific ocean yesterday by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Orion.
Click for big version.

According to GNS Science the underwater volcano, Monowai, has been active along the Kermadec Arc and the pumice could be a result of that activity.

The GNS scientists onboard believe the volcanic activity of Tongariro, White Island and along the Kermadec arc is unrelated.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Other Windy Cities: Auckland-Chicago Named A Top 10 ‘Most Exciting’ New Route

The inclusion of Auckland-Chicago on Lonely Planet’s Where to fly in 2019? The 10 most exciting new flight routes list comes just two weeks before Air New Zealand prepares to celebrate its inaugural flight to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on 30 November. More>>

Deadly Strain: ESR Ups Its Reporting On Meningococcal Disease

The increasing number of cases of Group W Meningococcal disease (MenW) has prompted ESR to increase its reporting on the disease to the Ministry of Health. ESR has upped its reporting to weekly. More>>

ALSO:

Very Small Things: "Game-Changing" 3D Printing Technology Launched

New Zealand microfabrication researchers Andrea Bubendorfer and Andrew Best, the co-inventors of a new way of fabricating very small things with Laminated Resin Printing (LRP), are part of Callaghan Innovation’s MicroMaker3D team launching the new patent pending technology in the US this week. More>>

ALSO:

Wainui: Major Infrastructure Partnership For North Auckland

Minister of Housing and Urban Development Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today announced a partnership that will fund $91 million of roading and wastewater infrastructure to support the building of 9000 homes... More>>

ALSO: