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Kerguelen Plateau Is Earth’s Longest Continuously Erupting Supervolcano

The Kerguelen Plateau in the Indian Ocean is the world’s longest continuously erupting supervolcano dating back into the Cretaceous, according to research published in the journal Geology. This discovery is quite exceptional, considering that these types of eruptions typically last just 1-5 million years.

For over 30 million years, from around 122 million years ago to 90 million years ago, basaltic lava erupted from fissures on the seafloor building up a volcanic plateau, eventually breaking sea level. The presence of soil layers in the basalt which included charcoal from large trees, indicate that much of the plateau was above sea level between 100 million years ago and 20 million years ago. In the last 20 million years, the volcanic edifice started to sink slowly and is now 1,000–2,000 m (3,300–6,600 ft) below sea level, with the

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Magma ‘conveyor belt’ fuelled world’s longest erupting supervolcanoes

volcano
A small eruption of Mount Rinjani, with volcanic lightning. Location: Lombok, Indonesia. Credit: Oliver Spalt, Wikipedia.

International research led by geologists from Curtin University has found that a volcanic province in the Indian Ocean was the world’s most continuously active—erupting for 30 million years—fuelled by a constantly moving conveyor belt of magma.


It’s believed this magma conveyor belt, created by shifts in the seabed, continuously made space available for the molten rock to flow for millions of years, beginning around 120 million years ago.

Research lead Qiang Jiang, a Ph.D. candidate from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said the studied volcanoes were in the Kerguelen Plateau, located in the Indian Ocean, about 3,000 kilometers south west of Fremantle, Western Australia.

“Extremely large accumulations of volcanic rocks—known as large volcanic provinces—are very interesting to scientists due to their links with mass extinctions, rapid climatic disturbances, and ore deposit formation,”

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Bird Flies 7,500 Miles, a New Record for Longest Nonstop Bird Migration | Smart News

Last month, scientists tracked a tireless bird’s nonstop migration from Alaska to New Zealand. That bird, a male bar-tailed godwit, set a new record for nonstop avian migration when it flew 7,500 miles over the Pacific Ocean without taking a single pitstop, reports Daniel Boffey for The Guardian.

Last year, researchers from the Global Flyway Network, a conservation group that tracks the migration of shorebirds, tracked the bird by outfitting it with a custom set of colorful bands around its legs. The bird—known as 4BBRW for the colors of the bands on its legs: two blue, one red, and one white—was also equipped with a tiny satellite tag that tracked its every move. The data revealed that the bird reached a max speed of 55 miles per hour and flew nonstop for 11 days, likely without sleeping, reports George Dvorsky for Gizmodo.

The previous record was set by a

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