VENTS conducts research on the impacts and consequences of submarine volcanism and hydrothermal venting on the global ocean and deep-sea ecosystems. This research includes exploration, time-series observations, remote monitoring, and innovative instrumentation and aims to provide timely information to the scientific community and the general public via peer-reviewed scientific publications and internet-accessible data and educational products.
NOAA Vents scientists recently published papers in the journal Nature Geoscience that show, for the first time, that precursory signals were recorded by seafloor instruments before an undersea volcanic eruption at Axial Seamount in 2011. The work was jointly funded by NOAA, the National Science Foundation, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. Such signals could be used to issue long-term and short-term forecasts of future eruptions at the site.
NOAA Vents seismologists recorded Sendai Japan's Mw 9.0 earthquake on undersea hydrophones, the largest ever recorded on our arrays. This gives us insight into the physics behind how sound is transmitted from the Earth's crust into the ocean and then propagates through the Pacific Ocean basin. The hydrophone record will also be analyzed for evidence of a pressure signal from the tsunami, providing additional information and understanding of tsunami propagation in the ocean.
VENTS program scientists discovered two active eruptions in the NE Lau Basin, one at the NE Lau spreading center and the other at West Mata Volcano.
Later a “rapid response” expedition returned to the two eruption sites with ROV Jason and witnessed spectacular eruptions continuing at West Mata Volcano.
Vents scientists return at Lau Basin September 2012, visit expedition here.
View W. Mata erupting on YouTube.