Feature Publication Archive
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Baker, E.T., S.L. Walker, R.W. Embley, and C.E.J. de Ronde (2012): High-resolution hydrothermal mapping of Brothers caldera, Kermadec arc. Econ. Geol., 107, 1583–1593 (Society of Economic Geologists, 7811 Shaffer Parkway, Littleton, CO 80127 USA), doi: 10.2113/econgeo.107.8.1583.
Submarine edifices with caldera summits are common along volcanic arcs and much more likely than simple cones to host hydrothermal venting. Compared with cones, however, locating all vent field locations on a caldera's complex bathymetry is a daunting logistical challenge. Here we describe the first use of an autonomous underwater vehicle, ABE, to fully map the distribution of near-bottom hydrothermal tracers over the caldera walls and cone complex of Brothers Volcano, the most active hydrothermal source on the southern Kermadec arc. Sensors on ABE simultaneously measured hydrothermal... more »
Resing, J.A., K.H. Rubin, R.W. Embley, J.E. Lupton, E.T. Baker, R.P. Dziak, T. Baumberger, M. Lilley, J. Huber, T. Shank, D.A. Butterfield, D. Clague, N. Keller, S. Merle, N. Buck, P. Michael, A. Soule, D. Caress, S.L. Walker, R. Davis, J. Cowen, A.-L. Reysenbach, and H. Thomas (2011): Active submarine eruption of boninite in the northeastern Lau Basin. Nature Geosci., 4, 799–806, doi: 10.1038/NGEO1275.
Subduction of oceanic crust and the formation of volcanic arcs above the subduction zone are important components in Earth’s geological and geochemical cycles. Subduction consumes and recycles material from the oceanic plates, releasing fluids and gases that enhance magmatic activity, feed hydrothermal systems, generate ore deposits and nurture chemosynthetic biological communities. Among the first lavas to erupt at the surface from a nascent subduction zone are a type classified as boninites. These lavas contain information about the early stages of subduction, yet because most subduction... more »
Butterfield, D.A., K. Nakamura, B. Takano, M.D. Lilley, J.E. Lupton, J.A. Resing, and K.K. Roe (2011): High SO2 flux, sulfur accumulation, and gas fractionation at an erupting submarine volcano. Geology, 39(9), 803–806, doi: 10.1130/G31901.1.
Strombolian-style volcanic activity has persisted for six years at the NW Rota-1 submarine volcano in the southern Mariana Arc, allowing direct observation and sampling of gas-rich fluids produced by actively degassing lavas, and permitting study of the magma-hydrothermal transition zone. Fluids sampled centimeters above erupting lava and percolating through volcaniclastic sediments around an active vent have dissolved sulfite >100 mmol/kg, total dissolved sulfide <30 μmol/kg, pH as low as 1.05, and dissolved Al and Fe >1 mmol/kg. If NW Rota is representative of submarine... more »
Tunnicliffe, V., K.T.A. Davies, D.A. Butterfield, R.W. Embley, J.M. Rose, and W.W. Chadwick, Jr. (2009): Survival of mussels in extremely acidic waters on a submarine volcano. Nature Geosci., 2, 344–348, doi: 10.1038/ngeo500.
Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are causing ocean acidification, compromising the ability of some marine organisms to build and maintain support structures as the equilibrium state of inorganic carbon moves away from calcium carbonate. Few marine organisms tolerate conditions where ocean pH falls significantly below today's value of about 8.1 and aragonite and calcite saturation values below 1 (refs 5, 6). Here we report dense clusters of the vent mussel Bathymodiolus brevior in natural conditions of pH values between 5.36 and 7.29 on northwest Eifuku volcano, Mariana... more »