Giant undersea volcano found in Sunda Trench

Scientists conducting oceanic survey intended to better understand the mechanics of tsunami generation has got more than they bargained for after a discovery of a previously unknown underwater volcano off the coast of Bengkulu.

The team of scientists from the Agency For the Assessment and Application Technology (BPPT), The Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI), The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, and France-based CGGVeritas and Institut de Physique du Globe (IPG) located the volcano under the Sunda Trench, west of Sumatra.

The volcano rises about 4,600 meters, with the rim 1,280 meters below the sea surface. The base ring of the volcano spans approximately 50 kilometers.

“The volcano is huge and tall. No mountain in Indonesia is this high except the Jayawijaya mountain in Papua,” a BPPT Director, Yusuf Surachman, said as quoted by Antara state news agency on Thursday.

He did not, however, get into detail regarding the volcano's activity level.

“Nevertheless, an underwater volcano is very dangerous if it erupts,” he said.

The seismic survey was conducted in the Indian Ocean off Sumatra as part of a TIDES (Tsunami Investigation – Deep Evaluation Seismic) project.

Scientists from many parts of the world have been conducting researches following the 2004 Tsunami disaster in Aceh and other major earthquakes that plague the country.

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