April 20-22, 2015, Seattle, WA
Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge is behaving restlessly and an eruption is imminent. Evidence comes from data showing that the caldera floor is rising about a half meter a year, much faster than expected, and from seismic data showing a dramatic increase in earthquakes at Axial. These data are coming ashore in real time thanks to an electro-optical network of sensors on and near Axial, a component of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array, also known as the Regional Scale Nodes. In support of NSF, the OOI is managed by the OOI Project Office at the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL).
Installation of the OOI Cabled Array was completed in autumn 2014. There are now 20+ instruments inside the caldera and two instrumented profiler moorings and seafloor sensors at its base, all connected to the Internet. Data have been flowing to the University of Washington since installation and will be available to the community in late spring 2015 through the OOI Cyberinfrastructure. Publicly available seismic data are now streaming to the Incoporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and as many as 1,000 earthquakes per day have been detected at Axial. (See "An Early Look at the OOI’s Seismic Data from Axial Seamount: Is the Volcano About to Erupt?" in William Wilcock's blog and "Rapid Reinflation Found at Axial Seamount" on the NOAA/PMEL website. For a continually updated daily histogram of earthquake activity, see Wilcock's blog for "Preliminary Histogram by Day")
This convergence of conditions means that the ocean-ridge community of scientists, educators, and engineers in both industry and academe are in a unique position to utilize this newly installed “Natural Laboratory” to continue identifying novel approaches to long-term, quantitative studies of submarine volcano-hydrothermal systems and their impacts on dynamic overlying marine ecosystems.
Objective of Gathering: Brainstorm and Develop a Plan
A gathering of researchers and educators to strategically brainstorm and define innovative options for the upcoming two decades of Axial Volcano Wired will be held April 20, 21, 22, 2015 in Seattle. The objective of the meeting is to lay out the paths forward for truly interactive, cross-disciplinary research. The existing sensing system, designed 5 years ago, is utilizing less than 20% of the available bandwidth, which increases opportunities for pursuing bold, next-generation science and education programs associated with an active undersea volcano.
Specific Workshop 2015 objectives are the following:
In many ways this April 2015 workshop on Axial is a follow-on to the 2011 Axial Workshop but with one big, and very important, difference: the OOI cabled system is now installed and operating and sending live data to shore. In the coming years, Axial Volcano Wired will be accessible to all via the Internet and will offer a representative view of the linkages among the physical, chemical, and biological processes operative in most basalt-based submarine ridge-crest environments the world over.
Modelers, marine geophysicists, seismologists, submarine volcanologists, fluid chemists, volatile chemists, physical, chemical, and biological oceanographers, ocean engineers, and ocean-science educators ranging from graduate-student level to mature researchers and professionals. Individuals from both academe and industry are encouraged to consider attending.
Logistics: Accomodations and Venue
The workshop will be held at the Talaris Conference Center near the University of Washington.
A block of 40 rooms will be held until March 27 at the Silver Cloud Inn-University District . The Silver Cloud operates a shuttle to/from Talaris. Group rates, available until March 27, are significantly cheaper ($139/night) than rates after that date ($159-$179). Phone number of the Silver Cloud is 206-526-5200. Please make reservations as early as possible to economize your own budgets.
Supporters (logos and names to come--this is a placeholder)
The following organizations have provided funding support for this workshop: UW, Kaplan Foundation, Moore Foundation, U New Hampshire (UNH Logo, and School of Marine Science & Ocean Engineering - according to Larry Mayer), WHOI