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Glassy Lava

On Dive 9, we dove on a new pillow lava flow. Comparison of bathymetry collected in 2013 and 2015 indicated an eruption over 100 meters thick. We visited three pillow mounds that were composed almost entirely of glassy pillow lavas. The glass forms when molten lava erupts on the seafloor and comes in contact with very cold seawater, immediately quenching the lava, forming long tubular or round shapes, and creating glass. The glass is important for geochemists because it allows them to determine the composition of the erupting lava.

Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

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Related Links

2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer