A volcano has been erupting on the ocean floor 130 miles off the southern Oregon coast since Tuesday, April 3, but scientists say it does not pose a threat to ships or coastal communities.

The eruption has generated more than 1,000 minor earthquakes, with the largest measuring 4.5.

?We?re mobilizing to get a research ship to check it out,? says Robert Embley, a marine geologist with NOAA?s Vents Program. Researchers would like the ship to arrive in time to find ?megaplumes,? gigantic bursts of hot, mineral-rich water that are spewed out of underwater eruptions. So far, they have been using undersea instruments to track the volcano?s activity.

Although this volcano is not expected to be a threat, any undersea eruptive and earthquake activity off the coast of the Pacific Northwest is of concern because the area has the potential to generate tidal waves.

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