08:26 10 September 2013
The world’s largest volcano, which is called Tamu Massif, was discovered on the Pacific Ocean floor about 1,600 km east of Japan. The 310,000 sq. km volcano, is considered one of the biggest in the entire solar system rising 2.2 miles up from the sea floor, covering 119,000 square miles, and plunging 18 miles into the Earth’s crust. Geologists said that it was formed about 144 million years ago and is believed to be inactive.
Co-author William Sager, from the University of Houston, US, told the AFP news agency: "The bottom line is that we think that Tamu Massif was built in a short (geologically speaking) time of one to several million years and it has been extinct since.”
"One interesting angle is that there were lots of oceanic plateaus (that) erupted during the Cretaceous Period (145-65 million years ago) but we don't see them since. Scientists would like to know why."
He added: "We don't have the data to see inside them and know their structure, but it would not surprise me to find out that there are more like Tamu out there.”
"Indeed, the biggest oceanic plateau is Ontong Java plateau, near the equator in the Pacific, east of the Solomon Islands. It is much bigger than Tamu - it's the size of France."
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