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In Brief

Submarine Eruption Photo Wins Earth Madness Tourney

Satellite image of the sumbarine eruption off El Hierro Island
NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite snapped this image of the submarine eruption off El Hierro Island, one of the Canary Islands, on Feb. 10, 2012. (Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory)

While college basketball fans gear up for tonight's men's National Championship game, you can feast your eyes on the winner of another March Madness tournament.

A stunning photo of a submarine eruption off El Hierro Island, the youngest of the Canary Islands, took the top spot in Tournament: Earth 2013, a NCAA tourney-inspired showdown of the 32 finest pictures taken of Earth from space in 2012 put on by NASA's Earth Observatory in which users picked their favorite images in a series of matchups.

The #7-seeded entry made it past several other eruption images and some stunning views of hurricanes (including Superstorm Sandy) to win the "Events" bracket and reach the final four, where it beat out a spectacular image of Earth's lights at night (a #2 seed). The El Hierro eruption took the tournament when it beat a view of a new crack in Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier, another #7 seed, with a whopping 91 percent of the vote.

El Hierro recently began rumbling again, a possible sign that magma is shifting around underneath it.

Read more about El Hierro at Wired's Eruptions blog.

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Andrea Thompson
Live Science Contributor

Andrea Thompson is an associate editor at Scientific American, where she covers sustainability, energy and the environment. Prior to that, she was a senior writer covering climate science at Climate Central and a reporter and editor at Live Science, where she primarily covered Earth science and the environment. She holds a graduate degree in science health and environmental reporting from New York University, as well as a bachelor of science and and masters of science in atmospheric chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.