Earth’s largest volcano discovered in Pacific Ocean, say scientists

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Scientists have discovered the largest  volcano on Earth in the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles east of Japan, CNN has reported.

The underwater volcano has been dubbed Tamu Massif, and is the size of the British Isles or the U.S. state of New Mexico, says William Sager, a University of Houston professor who led a team of scientists in the discovery. That makes it one of the largest volcanoes in the solar system.

Tamu Massif covers over 310,000 square kilometers (120,000 square miles), which is far bigger than the largest active volcano on Earth, Hawaii’s Mauna Loa at 5,179 sq. km. (2,000 sq. miles).

“It’s shape is different from any other sub-marine volcano found on Earth, and it’s very possible it can give us some clues about how massive volcanoes can form,” says Sager.

Scientist believe Tamu Massif is about 145 million years old, and has been inactive within a few million years after it was formed.

The name given to the volcano partly comes from Texas A&M, where Sager worked for 29 years before going to the University of Houston – Tamu being the university’s abbreviation. Massif is the French word for “massive” and also a scientific term for a large mountain mass, explained Sager.

The volcano was partly named in honor of Texas A&M University, where Sager worked for 29 years before moving to the University of Houston. Tamu is the university’s abbreviation while massif is the French word for “massive” and a scientific term for a large mountain mass, according to Sager.

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