National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

What's New

Mariana back-arc study area Falkor 2015

Mariana back-arc region with the white line depicting the spreading center.

November 23, 2015

EOI Scientists aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s RV Falkor are exploring the Mariana back-arc spreading center, which is expected to host to a number of volcanic vents teeming with life. Researchers from NOAA and its cooperative institutes at the University of Washington and Oregon State University are searching for new hydrothermally active sites to gain a better understanding of the physical, chemical and geological forces that shape the biodiversity in these unique ecosystems. Scientists will return for a second cruise next year with a remotely operated vehicle to further characterize and sample the newfound sites.

Follow the expedition November 21 - December 17 at:
Hydrothermal Hunt at Mariana (Schmidt Ocean Institute)

The Schmidt Ocean Institute is providing the ship and support for this expedition. Additional support is provided by NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research and NOAA Pacific Island Regional Office.

Research Groups

Hydrothermal Venting:
Fluids | Gases | Plumes | Particles | Models

Submarine Volcanism:
Geology and Mapping

Ocean Acidification | Pharmacology


Since 2014,  NOAA/PMEL Vents Program has re-organized into two separate focused programs:

Earth-Ocean Interactions