The plan for this cruise is quite simple: we will be studying a submarine volcano named NW Rota-1, located about 100 km (60 miles) north of Guam, who's summit is at a depth of 520 meters (1700 feet) below the ocean surface. This submarine volcano is very unique because it has been found to be actively erupting every time it has been visited (about once a year) since 2003. In fact, this is the only site in the world where deep underwater eruptions have been directly observed and recorded by hydrophone. The pressure at this depth makes it safe to study the eruptive activity up-close. With support from the US National Science Foundation, we hope to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to learn more about how submarine eruptions work and how they effect the surrounding ocean environment. Incredibly there are hydrothermal vent animals that live on top of the volcano in the midst of these eruptions.
We do not know exactly what we will find when we visit the volcano between April 3-17, 2009, but we have an extraordinary team of scientists and engineers poised to make the most out of this scientific opportunity. We hope you will follow along on this exciting adventure!
- Bill Chadwick, Chief Scientist, Oregon State University
Posted by VentsProgramAtSea