Big Ben erupts for researchers

VIDEO: Lava oozes down glacier from Australian volcano

SCIENTISTS have captured footage of lava from a volcano oozing down a glacier in Australia.

The team of researchers onboard the RV Investigator are in the southern ocean off Perth for the second phase of their research program - extensively mapping the seafloor around the remote Heard Island and McDonald Islands.

The islands are 4100km and very few people have witnessed activity from the volcano Big Ben, which is one of two active in Australia.

Where is the volcano called Big Ben located
Where is the volcano called Big Ben located

According to a CSIRO blog about the event, there have been three eruptions in the past 15 years.

While collecting data, the team were unbelievably lucky to witness action from both volcanoes: "seeing vapour emanating from both of Australia's active volcanoes and witnessing an eruption at Mawson Peak have been an amazing coda to this week's submarine research," said the voyage's Chief Scientist, IMAS Professor and geophysicist Mike Coffin.

Mawson Peak - the highest point on Big Ben, one of the volcanoes - erupted, oozing lava down its glaciated side.

The experience was a surprising and welcome bonus, Professor Coffin said. "We have 10 excited geoscientists aboard Investigator, and our enthusiasm has spread to our 50 shipmates".

Read more here: Big Ben Erupts: Australia's active volcano cluster blows its lid


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