Volcano On Sea Floor Watched Closely By NC Researcher

May 6, 2015

Instruments measuring the eruption at Axial Volcano
Credit NSF/OOI/University of Washington

Last week a volcano erupted underneath the sea off the coast of Oregon.  The Axial Volcano is the most active submarine volcano off the Northwest Coast and for the first time sea instruments gave a heads up the volcano was about to erupt. 

Scott Nooner is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and he has been studying this volcano for 15 years. 

The volcano is about a mile below the surface of the water, Nooner said. Along with his colleague from Oregon State University, Bill Chadwick, Nooner watched the surface of the volcano move in response to magma changes observed following the volcano's 2011 eruption.  

"We were able to forecast, based on our models, that the volcano would erupt in 2015," said Nooner.