Underwater Volcano off Oregon Coast EruptsChris Middlebrooks (Author) Published Date : May 04, 2015 18:17 ET
A volcano located underwater only 300 miles from the Oregon coastline has erupted and it appears that lava has spewed out, triggering numerous nearby earthquakes. No immediate danger exists, but geologists have taken to studying on real time. Close to 8,000 small earthquakes have been triggered from the eruptions and scientists immediately determined their cause was in fact the underwater volcanic eruption.
An underwater volcanic eruption tends to send out different forms of waves than that of a tectonic earthquake. Monitoring devices on the floor of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon were able to capture the action during real time. A deep-sea eruption is the most common form of volcanic eruption due to most of the Earth s volcanoes being located underwater.
One oceanographer was quick to say that an event like this is what he had been dreaming of for many decades. With the underwater instruments in place, he called it new era for exploration in the world of Earth Sciences.
The volcano is known as Axial Seamount, which is located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge just 298 miles off Cannon Beach, on Oregon s coastline.
Axial Seamount was detected for the first time during the 1970s. It was studied via satellite altimetry at that time and then explored and mapped during the 1980s. Scientists will now use an Ocean Observatories Initiative that will cost $386 million to observe the volcano.
Next to seismometers, the OOI put instruments that measure ground deformation and pressure and show the seafloor near the volcano that has already dropped more than 2.5 meters during the past 3 days.
Scientists expect the activity to continue for the next week to 10 days. The raw seismometer information is live and the data this week from the instruments detecting the ground deformation should be live as well, but at the moment, data is not available to all the scientific community worldwide due to some servers being down.
Underwater Volcano off Oregon Coast Erupts