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Images: Rapid Response

SWIFT SCIENTISTS—WHOI postdoctoral fellow Rhian Waller (left) and University of Washington graduate student Deb Glickson were among the scientists who tried to witness an undersea volcanic eruption in action. During the expedition to the Juan de Fuca Ridge aboard the R/V Thomas R. Thompson, Waller used a towed camera system, shown in front, to find evidence of volcanism. (Photo by Marshall Swartz, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

EARTHQUAKE SWARM IN PACIFIC NORTHWEST—On the morning of Sunday, Feb. 28, undersea hydrophones began detecting the most intense swarm of earthquakes to occur in the last three years along the Juan de Fuca Ridge, about 200 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast. Each red dot represents an earthquake epicenter. Within five and a half days, undersea hydrophones detected 3,742 earthquakes. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, WHOI Graphic Services)

LIFE ON THE SEAFLOOR—Though scientists did not see evidence of erupting lava, they did find other things on the seafloor during their March visit to the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Long-armed, bright-colored starfish called Brisingids, common in the deep ocean, live near corals and filter-feeding fan worms. (Credit: WHOI)

SEARCHING FOR FRESH LAVA—Scientists responding to undersea volcanic eruptions are looking for evidence of fresh lava. This lava, photographed on the Galapagos Rift in 2002, was estimated to be less than 10 years old. One way scientists place an age on lava is by looking at its surface. As lava ages, it loses its glassy black luster. (Credit: WHOI)