Axial Volcano: Wired and Restless! A “Gathering” To Explore Two Decades of Scientific Potential


The NOVAE Workshop
April 20-22, 2015
Talaris Center, Seattle WA


NOVAE - Networked Observations & Visualizations of the Axial Environment

We invite you to a workshop on April 20-22, 2015, to explore long-term strategies for taking advantage of the convergence of two significant conditions: 1) Axial Seamount, a mid-ocean ridge volcano-hydrothermal system, has been and likely will be, very active for decades; and, 2) The Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Cabled Array is now installed on Axial Seamount; it is working and expandable. This high-power, high-bandwidth system (Figures 1 and 2) includes >22 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 of the submarine network Summer 2014, and will be available to the community late Spring through the OOI Cyber Infrastructure. Publicly available seismic data are now streaming to IRIS - >1000 earthquakes in one day have now been detected on Axial. The NOVAE workshop will bring together teams of modelers, marine geophysicists, seismologists, submarine volcanologists, fluid chemists, volatile chemists, physical, chemical, and biological oceanographers, and engineers to lay out a long-term plan for optimizing the historic opportunities implicit in this unique situation.

This ‘gathering’ is designed to treat Axial as a representative mid-ocean ridge volcano hydrothermal system with associated impacts on overlying ocean processes. In that context, our objectives include: 1) a review of what is known about Axial and other similar systems; 2) exploring current expected uses of the OOI Cabled Array as configured; 3) developing community consensus regarding a suite of driving scientific questions and hypotheses; 4) moving toward consensus on upgrades, additions, or expansions of sensor-robotic arrays required to advance understanding of the processes/impacts of an erupting submarine volcano; 5) discussing technological configurations that can complement and enhance cable-based research objectives – examples might include gliders, AUV’s, crawlers, eco-genomic sensors, Argo Floats, both submarine and aerial vehicles, innovative cameras, etc.); 6) laying out a strategy for a significant modeling effort to reveal changes, assimilate data, simulate interacting processes, and reveal unanticipated phenomena to feed back into the observational plans for the overall system, and, 7) examining the educational elements of this powerful new approach to conducting real-time ocean science. A workshop report will capture all deliberations and a summary will be published in EOS. We will be coordinating our efforts with the Ocean Observing Science Committee.

WORKSHOP LOGISTICS: A website for this workshop is under construction...

Participation: Space and support funding are limited. Please indicate your intent to participate in this community meeting by sending a terse statement of your interest, expertise with Axial/ mid-ocean ridge research, and your need for travel/per diem support. We also request that you pose your most challenging scientific issue that could be addressed in the coming decades related to ‘Wired-Axial’ and/or ridge crest research. Upon receipt of this material, we will catalogue and share opinions among all attendees and make our best offer to help defray your costs. We encourage young scientists to participate, and will be somewhat more supportive of your financial needs.

Lodging: The workshop will be held at the Talaris Conference Center.  A block of 40 rooms are currently being held at the Silver Cloud Inn-University District, until March 27th.  The hotel operates a shuttle to/from Talaris.  Group rates, available until March 27th, 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.