Ocean Essay

540 WordsAug 2, 20133 Pages
I survived the March 2011 Japan Tsunami, I know have an entirely different respect for the Ocean. Undersea earthquakes and volcanic eruptions can generate catastrophic ocean waves called tsunamis (meaning "harbor wave" in Japanese). I currently live in Italy a volcanically active country, containing the only active volcanoes in mainland Europe. The country's volcanism is due chiefly to the presence, a short distance to the south, of the boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the African Plate. The magma erupted by Italy's volcanoes is thought to result from the upward forcing of rocks melted by the subduction of one plate below another. I am concerned with the active submarine volcano Marsali that sets in the Tyrrhenian Sea. If It were to erupt would cause grave damage to southern Italy. Submarine volcanoes are underwater volcanoes in the Earth's surface from which magma can erupt. The vast majority are located near areas of tectonic plate movement, known as ocean ridges. Although most are located in the depths of seas and oceans, some also exist in shallow water. Three main clusters of volcanism exist: a line of volcanic centres running northwest along the central part of the Italian mainland (see Campanian volcanic arc); a cluster in the northeast of Sicily; and another cluster around the Mediterranean island of Pantelleria. The Earth's tectonic plates can move apart, collide, or slide past each other. The Mid-Ocean Ridge system - the Earth's underwater mountain range - arises where the plates are moving apart. As the plates part, the seafloor cracks. Cold seawater seeps down into these cracks, becomes super-heated by magma, and then bursts back out into the ocean, forming hydrothermal vents. As the plates move farther apart, magma from the Earth's interior percolates up to fill the gap, sometimes leading to the eruption of undersea volcanoes.

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