Underwater threat

The discovery of a dormant volcano in an undersea ridge flanking the Barren Islands in the Andamans has galvanised the forest and wildlife officials into preparing plans to study the impact on the archipelago's flora and fauna in case the volcano erupts. The existence of the volcano came to light following a study of the area by scientists of the marine division of the Geological Survey of India recently.

Shankar Majumdar, one of the scientists in the team that analysed the pyroclastic rocks (consisting of fragmentary volcanic matter) says, "The ridge with an eastern scrap face and a gradual western slope lies at a depth of 700 metres below water level."

The experts who unveiled the volcano's existence are intrigued by the fact that the core sediments collected from the southern flank of the island and those belonging to the western slope of the submerged ridge are different.

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