Underwater volcanic flank deposits to be mapped in the Caribbean

Underwater volcanic flank deposits to be mapped in the Caribbean

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UK: A scientific team led by Dr. Peter Talling of UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC) is currently aboard the Royal Research Ship James Cook to map extremely large landslide deposits offshore from an active volcano on Montserrat in the Lesser Antilles.

The volcano has been erupting episodically since 1995, with the last major eruption and volcanic dome collapse occurring in February 2010. Previous eruptions on the island have included the largest volcanic dome collapses ever documented. These eruptions were monitored on land, and marine surveys showed what happens when the hot volcanic flows enter the ocean. .

“We plan to produce the first detailed survey of this type of volcanic flank collapse deposit,” said Dr. Talling: “For the first time, we will image flank collapse deposits by collecting three-dimensional seismic reflection data, which will show how huge avalanches were emplaced.”

In the next two weeks, the team will finish mapping the flank collapse deposits using seismic reflection data. This seafloor mapping will provide survey data for an ambitious International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) proposal to drill into and recover landslide material. This will help date the landslides and show whether they are associated with particular eruptions or other changes in volcano behaviour.

Source: 7th Space