National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

Researchers Think Axial Seamount is Erupting - Right on Schedule

Axial Seamount is located off the west coast of the U.S.  Credit:  Bill Chadwick

April 29, 2015

PMEL and Oregon State University(OSU)/CIMRS scientist Bill Chadwick and Scott Nooner at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) have successfully forecast the latest eruption of Axial Seamount, an active submarine volcano located about 300 miles off the coast of Oregon. Based on a swarm of earthquakes and large vertical movements of the seafloor, the eruption started on April 24, 2015. While instruments at the site clearly picked up on these signals, the activity is not strong enough to be felt by anyone on land or large enough to produce a tsunami. In the fall of 2014 the scientists posted a blog predicting that Axial would erupt within the next 15 months.  They based their prediction on a repeated pattern of seafloor elevation changes before, during, and after eruptions since 1998.

This work has been possible through a cooperative effort that includes the PMEL Earth-Ocean Interactions Program, OSU/CIMRS, the University of Washington-led OOI Cabled Array, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, UNCW and was funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA. Please see the OSU press release.

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