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NW Rota 2009 Expedition to the Mariana Volcanic Arc

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 Jasonrecords the eruption and samples the eruption plume with an intake held in one of its manipulator arms. Jasonis 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 video copyright by Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (AIVL/WHOI).

Jason Approaches the Brimstone Eruptive Ventfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Volcanic Gases Stream out of the Brimstone Eruptive Ventfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

White Billowing Plume Full of Sulfur and Ashfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

A Rocky Outcrop Provides Habitat for Two Species of Shrimpfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Jason Prepares to Sample the Eruption Plumefrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Time-lapse Movie of the Seafloor Shaking and Rocks Being Shoved Awayfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The Seafloor Quakes and Heaves as New Lava Slowly Eruptsfrom Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.