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Long-term eruptive activity at a submarine arc volcano

Nature

By:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
DOI: 10.1038/nature04762

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Abstract

Three-quarters of the Earth's volcanic activity is submarine, located mostly along the mid-ocean ridges, with the remainder along intraoceanic arcs and hotspots at depths varying from greater than 4,000 m to near the sea surface. Most observations and sampling of submarine eruptions have been indirect, made from surface vessels or made after the fact. We describe here direct observations and sampling of an eruption at a submarine arc volcano named NW Rota-1, located 60 km northwest of the island of Rota (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). We observed a pulsating plume permeated with droplets of molten sulphur disgorging volcanic ash and lapilli from a 15-m diameter pit in March 2004 and again in October 2005 near the summit of the volcano at a water depth of 555 m (depth in 2004). A turbid layer found on the flanks of the volcano (in 2004) at depths from 700 m to more than 1,400 m was probably formed by mass-wasting events related to the eruption. Long-term eruptive activity has produced an unusual chemical environment and a very unstable benthic habitat exploited by only a few mobile decapod species. Such conditions are perhaps distinctive of active arc and hotspot volcanoes. ?? 2006 Nature Publishing Group.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Long-term eruptive activity at a submarine arc volcano
Series title:
Nature
DOI:
10.1038/nature04762
Volume
441
Issue:
7092
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
494
Last page:
497
Number of Pages:
4