UW oceanographers explore recently erupted deep-sea volcano

White, filamentous bacteria thrive in the warm fluids seeping from pockets in the 3-month-old lava flow. White “snowblowers” drift through the water. Orange bacterial mats cover vast areas of the still cooling lava flow.

White, filamentous bacteria thrive in the warm fluids seeping from pockets in the 3-month-old lava flow. White “snowblowers” drift through the water. Orange bacterial mats cover vast areas of the still cooling lava flow.

This spring, seafloor seismometers connected to shore by a new Internet cable showed that the 3,600-foot-tall underwater Axial Volcano started shaking April 24, 2015 and shook continuously for several days. University of Washington oceanographers visited the deep-ocean volcano in late July and parts of the seafloor were still warm, giving the team a glimpse into the changes that happened around the the mile-deep volcano 300 miles off the Oregon coast. The recent visit, part of a larger cruise, was scientists’ first chance to see the site and explore what happened.

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