Pillow lava on ocean floor

Pillow lava on ocean floor

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Credit: B. MURTON/SOUTHAMPTON OCEANOGRAPHY CENTRE/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Seabed pillow lava. View from the deep-submergence vehicle ALVIN of pillow lava formations at a "hot spot" on the ocean floor. The rounded shape of the 0.5 to 1 metre diameter "pillows" is caused by the eruption of molten lava into deep water. Each pillow has a rough and abrasive glassy outer skin. Light-coloured sediment, dusting the pillows, shows that the lava is very young and probably less than a few hundred years old. Photographed in the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, 3150 metres below sea level.

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Keywords: alvin, bottom, deep sea lava, hydrothermal lava, lava, mid-atlantic ridge, ocean floor, photo, pillow, pillow lava, sea bed, seabed, seabed lava, seabed vent, vents

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