Sunday, September 1, 2013

Where is Axial Seamount?

Location map of Axial Seamount in the NE Pacific Ocean.
Axial Seamount is the most active submarine volcano in the NE Pacific. Why? Because it is located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, a spreading center where two tectonic plates are spreading apart; the Pacific Plate is moving to the west and the Juan de Fuca plate is moving to the east. As the plates separate, magma that is generated in the Earth’s mantle rises up and erupts on the seafloor to create new ocean crust. In addition, there is a “hot spot” beneath Axial Seamount that enhances the magma supply. This is one reason why Axial Seamount is such a great place for interdisciplinary marine research.

 -Bill Chadwick, Oregon State University

Video describing the location of Axial Seamount relative to the west coast: