Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2018

Keywords

Oceanic crust, Submarine volcanoes, Underwater eruptions, Axial Seamount

Abstract

To understand the processes that form oceanic crust as well as the role of submarine volcanoes in exchanging heat and chemicals with the ocean and in supporting chemosynthetic biological communities, it is essential to study underwater eruptions. The world’s most advanced underwater volcano observatory—the Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array at Axial Seamount—builds upon ~30 years of sustained geophysical monitoring at this site with autonomous and remote systems. In April 2015, only months after the Cabled Array’s installation, it recorded an eruption at Axial Seamount, adding to the records of two prior eruptions in 1998 and 2011. Between eruptions, magma recharge is focused beneath the southeast part of the summit caldera, leading to steady inflation and increasing rates of seismicity. During each eruption, the volcano deflates over days to weeks, coincident with high levels of seismicity as a dike is emplaced along one of the volcano’s rifts and lava erupts on the seafloor. Cabled Array seismic data show that motions on an outward-dipping ring fault beneath the caldera accommodate the inflation and deflation. Eruptions appear to occur at a predictable level of inflation; hence, it should be possible to time deployments of additional cabled and autonomous instrumentation to further enhance observations of the next eruption.

Publication Title

Oceanography

Volume

31

Issue

1

First Page

114

Last Page

123

DOI

https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.117

Required Publisher's Statement

This article has been published in Oceanography, Volume 31, Number 1, a quarterly journal of The Oceanography Society. Copyright 2018 by The Oceanography Society. All rights reserved.

Permission is granted to copy this article for use in teaching and research. Republication, systematic reproduction, or collective redistribution of any portion of this article by photocopy machine, reposting, or other means is permitted only with the approval of The Oceanography Society. Send all correspondence to: info@tos.org or The Oceanography Society, PO Box 1931, Rockville, MD 20849-1931, USA.

Type

Text

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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