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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
Andrea graduated from Georgia Tech with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences in 2004 and a Master's in the same subject in 2006. She attended the Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University and graduated with a Master of Arts in 2006.