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Take a cruise around the Mariana Islands (at Eruptions) 15 July 2010

Posted by admin in geoblogosphere, Pacific.
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The volcanoes of the Mariana Islands have been in the news recently: Pagan and Sarigan have both been featuring in the Global Volcanism Program’s regular reports in recent weeks. To find out more about the volcanically fascinating Mariana Islands you couldn’t do better than visit the Eruptions blog, where Dr Ed Kohut is guest blogging while Erik Klemetti takes a break (a field work break). It’s an incredibly informative and illuminating article, and this is only part 1. Check it out: A volcanic cruise through the Mariana Islands.

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Pacific volcano offers glimpse of acidic ocean 30 September 2009

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The eco-nightmare of choice for an increasing number of people today is ocean acidification. In the north-west Pacific Ocean, underwater vents within the submerged caldera that forms the Maug Islands emit carbon dioxide into a tropical shallow-water environment, creating a localized level of acidity that is fatal to marine life. The Smithsonian Magazine has an article all about the resulting ‘death zone’:

The unique death zone, where the water is so acidic from the volcanic vents that no coral can survive, is only 30 feet across and 200 feet long … Both the death zone and the transition zone, where highly acidic water merges with normal sea water, should yield insights into how corals will react to a changing ocean.

A swim through the ocean’s futureSmithsonian Magazine, 17 September 2009

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Scientists return to active undersea volcano 20 March 2009

Posted by admin in current research, geoscience, Pacific, submarine volcanism.
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In 2004 an international team of scientists using a remotely-operated submersible witnessed an undersea volcanic eruption for the first time at Northwest Rota-1, a seamount rising to 517 metres below the sea surface in the Mariana Islands. Further scientific studies were carried out at the site in 2005 and 2006. Last year hydrophones recorded sounds of eruptive activity at the site.

In April this year the scientific team will be returning to Northwest Rota-1 for further studies, says a press release from Oregon State University:

During the two-week project, the scientists will deploy long-term monitoring instruments including hydrophones, chemical sensors, current meters and plume sensing devices that will allow them to study for the first time the patterns of activity over an entire year. They also will make additional visual observations of the eruptive activity, hydrothermal vents and biological communities, and will collect samples of lava, gas and fluids from the volcano.

It will be fascinating to see what they come up with. The NOAA website for the April 2009 cruise can be found here: Vents Program: Marianas.

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