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NW Rota 2009 Expedition to the Mariana Volcanic Arc

April 3-17, 2009

An international science team that has just returned from studying an erupting undersea volcano near the Island of Guam captured dramatic new video and still images of the eruptive activity of NW Rota-1.

In the video below the remotely operated vehicle Jason records the eruption and samples the eruption plume with an intake held in one of its manipulator arms. Jason is operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and was equipped with camera systems developed by WHOI's Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab.

The science team, led by Bill Chadwick of Oregon State University, reports that the volcano has grown considerably in size during the past three years, it appears to be continuously active, and its activity supports a unique biological community that also has grown in size during the same time period. NW Rota-1 is one of the only places on Earth where a deep submarine volcano has ever been directly observed while erupting.

The expedition was largely funded by the National Science Foundation. For more information, see the cruise blog at http://nwrota2009.blogspot.com/ and Oregon State University press release.

All video copyright by Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (AIVL/WHOI).

ROV Jason Approaches the Brimstone Eruptive Vent
Volcanic Gases Stream out of the Brimstone Eruptive Vent
White Billowing Plume Full of Sulfur and Ash
A Rocky Outcrop on a Ridge Provides Habitat for Two Species of Shrimp
Jason prepares to sample the eruption plume
Time-lapse Movie of the Seafloor Shaking and Rocks Being Shoved Away
Seafloor Quakes and Heaves as New Lava Slowly Erupts