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Images: Deeply Submerged Volcanoes Blow Their Tops

These glassy, granular fragments of volcanic rock provided key evidence that volcanoes on the Arctic Ocean seafloor exploded violently. Such fragments are typically formed when steam and carbon dioxide gas builds up inside volcanoes to produce explosive eruptions. (Photo by Adam Soule and Claire Willis, WHOI)

A deep-sea surveying vehicle captured these images of fine-grained volcanic shards blanketing the seafloor over a 4-square-mile area on the Gakkel Ridge beneath the Arctic Ocean. Grains like these are usually ejected by violent volcanic explosions and settle eventually through the water onto the seafloor. (Photo courtesy of Rob Reves-Sohn, Hanumant Singh, Tim Shank, Susan Humphris, and William Lange of WHOI, and the AGAVE science team)

An expedition led by WHOI researchers aboard the Swedish icebreaker Oden explored the remote Gakkel Ridge beneath the Arctic sea ice in the summer of 2007. Researchers discovered three undersea volcanoes, which they named after three Norse gods, Loké, Oden, and Thor. (Courtesy of Martin Jakobsson of Stockholm University, Robert Reves-Sohn and Adam Soule, of WHOI, and the AGAVE science team)

Researchers towed the Camper vehicle (short for "camera/sampler") near the seafloor to collect images and rock samples. (Photo by Chris Linder, WHOI)