Deep Sea Magma Monster New tests and scans are being done
Over this past summer, a 235-foot vessel was set into the Pacific Ocean. Attached to the back of the vessel were four electronic serpents, all miles in length. These serpents have electronic instruments that can look into the heart of a magma volcano, called the Axial Seamount volcanic mountain. This large ship belongs to the National Science Foundation, and is currently in the hands of Columbia University. The ship spent a month a sea collecting data before something went wrong.
The scientists working on the ship spent 33 days this summer creating 3D maps of the active volcano below the submarine. The researchers got to see something that they had never seen before: a view of a hyperactive volcano. The crew members also got to see into the volcano which would provide and improve scientist’s understanding of underwater volcanoes across the globe. The process of the electronic serpents was quite difficult, considering the cables could not be tangled or the whole experiment would end. The ship had to be extremely careful when running and it could not stop suddenly.
Axial sits 300 miles off the coast of Oregon. According to a seismologist at the University of Texas at Austin, the volcano’s base is the size of the whole city of Austin, Texas. Axial is far from shrinking, it is only getting bigger. It is extending across the mid-ocean ridge, separating the Pacific plate and the Juan de Fuca plate, and has been rising for some years. Over time the Pacific plate has created a 1,120 mile line of submarine volcanoes, and Axial is on top. Axial is currently the most closely looked at volcano in the world with its proximity to the Pacific Northwest and it’s high hyperactivity.
Axial has helped scientists understand underwater volcanoes. Years of research and analysis lay ahead for Axial. This volcano is different and unlike any other volcanoes known to scientists. The volcano is breathing, or taking magma and raising it to the surface and rather than inflating like other volcanoes, constantly recharging and getting ready for another eruption. This volcano has truly made a break in scientific history.