We’re headed back out to Axial Seamount on R/V Thompson for a research cruise August 14-29. We’ll have ROV Jason and AUV Sentry on board and will be making dives with both underwater vehicles. The big excitement this year is that we know that Axial Seamount erupted in April-May and this will be the first expedition to conduct extensive exploration, mapping, and sampling of the new lava flows.
Here is a 3D fly-through animation of Axial Seamount with outlines of the lava flows:
The cruise will consist of three interrelated projects: (1) one to make seafloor pressure measurements to measure volcanic inflation/deflation (funded by the National Science Foundation; PIs: Nooner and Chadwick), (2) one to incubate and sample hydrothermal vent fluids for chemical and microbial analysis (funded by NOAA and the Moore Foundation; PIs: Butterfield, Huber, and Holden), and (3) one to conduct event response activities related to the April-May eruption (jointly funded by NSF and NOAA).