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Scientists confirm existence of Earth’s largest volcano; is it the Solar System’s biggest?

Jonathan Marker | Science Recorder | September 07, 2013

Scientists confirm existence of Earth’s largest volcano; is it the Solar System’s biggest?

Tamu Massif distinguishes itself among underwater volcanoes not only for its size, but also for its shape.

A September 5 news release from the University of Houston (UH) details the discovery and confirmation of the largest single volcano documented on Earth.  The finding is the result of a research team effort led by William Sager, a UH professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, who first began examining the inactive volcano – named Tamu Massif – two decades ago while a professor in the College of Geosciences at Texas A & M.  The findings of the research effort will appear in the September 8 issue of the journal Nature Geoscience.

Tamu Massif covers an area approximately the size of New Mexico, placing it among the largest volcanoes in our Solar System.  Located roughly 1,000 miles east of Japan, the volcano is the largest feature of Shatsky Rise, an undersea mountain range formed by the eruption of multiple underwater volcanoes some 130 to 145 million years ago.

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