Where is the world's biggest volcano? On the floor of the Pacific, geologists find
Geologists on Thursday announced they had uncovered a stupendous volcano that is the biggest in the world and rivals the greatest in the Solar System.
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“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”
Since: Mar 07
#1 Sep 9, 2013
Very nice article.
Difficult to say whether this would be an overgrown oceanic shield volcano or a small unrifted oceanic large igneous province.
The link between the Martian central giant shield volcanoes & large igneous province is quite profound. Since the crust of Mars hardly moves, the large igneous provinces that do develop will by & large become central volcanoes as the eruptions progress.
A very similar thing happened during the Archaean greenstone belt volcanism, which erupted base Komatiite flows followed by picrites and classical basalts, finally topped by rhyolites erupted from a central caldera complex as ignimbrites. The greenstones erupted through and sitting on cratons preserved because they sank into the crust under their own weight. The burial was deep enough (stacked large igneous provinces) to cause metamorphism & partial melting @ the base of the pile resulting in later tonalite granites intruding into the stack and sealing it making it a buoyant block.
The thing that probably kills the large igneous province single volcanoes on Earth is the development of a rift & spreading centre which diverts all the magma to a sequence of developing rifts which develop subvolcanoes (classical size), Iceland style from that point.
The Ontong Java plateau mentioned in the article for example appears to have been rifted into 3 pieces, 2 of which appear have been subducted under South America and the last bit (Ontong Java) has lost about 1/3 of its volume under the Solomon islands before reversing the arc.
There may have been large volcanoes sitting unrifted on continents as a result of flood basalt eruptions, but erosion & isostasy have removed the products leaving only a dike swarm through the uplifted warmed continental crust and lots of mud sediment a mite younger then the basalt plateau on the continental margins. The great dike of south Africa may be one such former giant volcano.
Nice to see a young pristine rather small one still intact as a blob from the late cretaceous magmatic episode though.
Have a nice day: Ag
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