By Nick Barber, Drexel University
Axial Seamount is a basaltic hotspot volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. It is the most active submarine volcano in the Northeast Pacific, having had three eruptions over the past 20 years, the most recent in April 2015. Since September 2014, Axial has also been monitored by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Cabled Array, a cabled network of instruments that includes seismometers, pressure recorders, tiltmeters, temperature probes, cameras, and other sensors. As part of on-going analysis of the real-time data from the OOI Cabled Array, I spent the summer of 2017 writing MATLAB scripts that formatted and plotted tilt data from Axial Seamount in user-defined time periods. I was also lucky enough to join one of the expeditions on board the research vessel. This information provides important insights into on-going surface deformation and the subsurface migration of magma before, during, and after eruptions. The plots can be integrated with seismic data to provide better constraints on magma chamber geometry and dike propagation in the caldera.
Nick Barber is a senior Geoscience major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. His work at Drexel includes a number of projects using modern GIS, database, and programming tools to re-imagine the volume and stratigraphy of the Deccan Traps, Western India. This work is primarily supervised by Dr. Loÿc Vanderkluysen. Nick is also the recipient of the Goldwater and Hollings scholarships, with the latter funding his research at Axial Seamount with Dr. Bill Chadwick at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Newport, Oregon. Nick will be graduating this June and plans to start a PhD in Earth Science at the University of Cambridge, UK, working with Dr. Marie Edmonds.