Send us your questions with email to: VentsProgramAtSea@gmail.com
(Let us know where you are from!)
Throughout the expedition, questions and answers we receive will appear on this page. On the right, there are links to schools we will interact with from sea.
Questions and Answers:
When the volcano erupts, does the water pressure push the eruption down?
This is a great question. When a volcano erupts, the gases in the magma are driving the eruption- that is, as the gases change state from liquid (dissolved in the magma) to gas state, they form bubbles which expand. This makes the volume of the magma expand and so it erupts. One of the limiting factors of the expansion is that the gas bubbles expand only if the pressure inside the bubble (pushing out) is greater than the pressure outside the bubble (pushing in on the bubble). So, volcanoes on the ocean floor have to overcome the pressure of the rocky part of the volcano structure itself (lithostatic pressure), but also the pressure from the overlying ocean that exerts hydrostatic (water) pressure. Once the volcano actually erupts, the lavas that flow on the ocean floor will still be subjected to the ocean's hydrostatic pressure.
In other words, the answer to your question is yes!