NASA Photos Capture Eruption Of Underwater 'Sharkcano'

By Bill Galluccio

May 27, 2022

Sharkcano Eruption
Photo: NASA

NASA released new satellite photos capturing the eruption of an underwater volcano known as "Sharkcano." The image was captured by the Operational Land Imager-2 (OLI-2) on Landsat 9 and shows discolored water as a plume of smoke erupts from the volcano.

The Kavachi volcano, which is located in the Solomon Islands, is one of the most active underwater volcanos in the Pacific Ocean and also happens to be the home of at least two species of sharks.

The volcano earned its nickname in 2015 when an expedition conducted during a rare lull in volcanic activity discovered that two species of sharks, scalloped hammerhead sharks, and silky sharks, were living in the crater of the volcano despite the extreme conditions. The acidic water is superheated to at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

"Previous research has shown such plumes of superheated, acidic water usually contain particulate matter, volcanic rock fragments, and sulfur. A 2015 scientific expedition to the volcano found two species of sharks, including hammerheads, living in the submerged crater. The researchers also found microbial communities that thrive on sulfur," NASA's Earth Observatory explained.

The constant eruptions have created tiny islands in the area that are quickly eroded away by the ocean's waves.

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