An underwater seismic network pioneered by the University of Washington and other institutions is revealing how thousands of tiny shocks can herald huge eruptions.
Results from the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s Cabled Array, published today by the journal Science and Geophysical Research Letters, focus on the buildup of seismic activity in advance of a 2015 eruption at Axial Seamount, the most active submarine volcano in the northeast Pacific Ocean. The release of the results was timed to coincide with this week’s American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.
“Instruments used by Ocean Observatories Initiative scientists are giving us new opportunities to understand the inner workings of this volcano, and of the mechanisms that trigger volcanic eruptions in many environments,” Rick Murray, director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences, said in a news release. “The information will help us predict the behavior of active volcanoes around the globe.”