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