Scientific Colloquium
May 10, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
  Building 34, Room W150 - PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF LOCATION DUE TO RENOVATION OF BUILDING 3 AUDITORIUM and unavailability of Building 8.

"Fire in the Deep Sea: The 2015 Eruption of Axial Seamount"  

Axial Seamount is the most active submarine volcano in the NE Pacific. It is a basaltic hotspot volcano superimposed on the Juan de Fuca Ridge spreading center, so has an enhanced magma supply. It has been the focus of a seafloor observatory for over 20 years, first with autonomous, battery-powered instruments, and since September 2014 by instruments connected to a fiber-optic cable to shore providing continuous real-time data, part of the NSF-funded Ocean Observatories Initiative. Axial has had three detected eruptions in 1998, 2011, and the latest in April 2015 (detected in real-time by the cabled observatory). This talk will summarize over 2 decades of monitoring efforts at Axial Seamount, highlighting new insights gained during the 2015 eruption.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Bill Chadwick is a Research Professor at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, and is acting-head of NOAA Earth-Ocean Interactions Program at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. He became interested in studying volcanoes when he was in college and Mount St. Helens erupted. He majored in geology at Colorado College, where he received his B.A. After college, he worked at Mount St. Helens with the U.S. Geological Survey for 2 years, and he’s been hooked on studying active volcanoes ever since. After the USGS, he got a PhD in Geology at University of California at Santa Barbara, did a post-doc with the USGS in Menlo Park after that studying Galapagos volcanoes, and has worked at Oregon State University since 1989 mainly studying submarine volcanoes.

His current research interests include investigating how magma is supplied and stored at active volcanoes, how lava is emplaced during submarine eruptions, and how underwater eruptions affect the chemistry and ecosystems of hydrothermal vent sites. His research uses high-resolution mapping of the seafloor with multibeam sonars on autonomous underwater vehicles, visual observations of the seafloor from remotely operated vehicles, and monitoring of volcanic processes using seafloor instruments. He is particularly interested in seafloor geodesy (measuring volcanic deformation) and what that can tell us about magma movements in the subsurface at submarine volcanoes.

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