Brothers Volcano

"Black Smoker" Chimneys

Brothers volcano

The Brothers Volcano is a Pacific Ocean submarine volcano in the Kermadec Arc, 340 kilometres north east of New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island. Within its oval outline, which measures 13 km by 8 km, it contains a 3 km wide caldera with walls 300-500 m high. It is three times bigger than the White Island.[1] A dacite (dacite lava's viscosity is in between rhyolite and andesite[1]) dome rises 350 m from the caldera floor (which lies 1850 m below sea level), with a smaller dome just to its northeast. The caldera walls and the larger dome host numerous hydrothermal vents, which send plumes of hot water 750 m up through the water column. It is the most hydrothermally active volcano known in the Kermadec Arc.[2] These hydrothermal vents are also known as hot springs and have created an 8 meter high field of "black smoker" chimneys.[3]These chimneys are created when the hydrothermal fluids hit the cold water and harden up.[1] The hydrothermal fluids are an energy source to many unique organisms like tubeworms and other bacteria.[3] The marine life and minerals found from these chimneys are beneficial to New Zealand's economy and biotechnology industry.[1]

The volcano was created by a subduction of the Pacific Plate under the Australian Plate.[1]

It is still unknown when the Brothers Volcano last erupted, but the crater walls tell us that its last eruption was so explosive that it caused the volcano to blow out a caldera.[3] A joint expedition by the United States, New Zealand and Germany mapped the volcano in detail in 2007.[4]


Submarine volcanoes are not monitored by any organization, but have become a central interest in current expeditions.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Volcano Fact Sheet: Brothers Volcano" (PDF). Learning on the Loop. Retrieved 10-27-16. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. "Brothers Volcano". GNS Science. 19 Dec 2009. Archived from the original on February 28, 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  3. 1 2 3 "Brothers Volcano". GNS Science. 11-25-13. Archived from the original on 2011-02-28. Retrieved 10-27-16. Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  4. Gregory, Angela (17 August 2007). "Photo: Seabed volcano in all its glory". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 March 2010.

External links

Coordinates: 34°52′15″S 179°04′00″E / 34.8708°S 179.0667°E / -34.8708; 179.0667

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