Four undersea volcanoes discovered off Phuket

PHUKET (The Nation): A team of Thai and German marine geologists have discovered four volcanoes under the sea about 200 kilometers from Phuket, the team leader announced yesterday.

Dr Anon Sanitwong na Ayutthaya of Chulalongkorn University headed a 15-day survey that ended on December 6. It was conducted with support from the German government and from the National Marine Geology Institute in Keith.

The team surveyed 1,500 square kilometers of seabed at depths of 1,000 to 2,800 meters at the continental rim, about 300km off Phuket.

Dr Anon said the team had detected four mud volcanoes in the area.

The first volcano is about 200km west of Phuket and has a base about 1km in diameter. The volcano reaches 100m from the seabed, which is 650m under the surface.

The second volcano is located 50km west of the first volcano and is about 1,000m under the sea. The third and fourth volcanoes are located about 60km northeast of the second volcano and are about 800m under the sea.

Dr Anon said the survey was carried out after the 2004 tsunami, but added that the volcanoes had no apparent relation to the tsunami.

He said the temperature of the water around the volcanoes was about 100°C, while the surrounding water was about 5°C.

He said that the public should not panic about the volcanoes as there are no indications they will erupt.

He added that the existence of the volcanoes should bode well for the country as they could be homes to rare living creatures and might be indicators of oil resources in the area.

Phuket News

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