Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Under the sea


  • Anonymous


Oceanographers in America's Pacific Northwest hope to be awash soon in real-time data from volcanoes on the ocean floor. That's because a group of scientists led by John Delaney of the University of Washington and Fred Spiess of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are planning to establish permanent seafloor volcano observatories in the Pacific Ocean.

Those two observatories will not house scientists; they will shelter an array of monitors and instruments to keep a real-time watch on undersea ridge systems where volcanoes erupt, superheated water and minerals are spewed from hydrothermal vents, and new seafloor is created. They will also observe the vast microbial communities that thrive in the darkest depths of the ocean near such otherwise toxic vents.