Underwater Fire: Studying the Submarine Volcanoes of Tonga

Cruise Log

SOI/ROV ROPOS

Exploring a Recent Eruption Site

On ROV SuBastian's Dive S93 we visited West Mata volcano, where we know multiple eruptions have occurred over the last decade from before-and-after bathymetric surveys. These eruption...

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Dive 92

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Local Residents: A Closer Look

The scientists await inside the garage as the deck crew clears the aft deck and the ROV team runs their post-dive checklist, making sure SuBastian...

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Underwater Fire ~ Uncovering ~ Week 04 Video

"It was probably the most extensive chimney field I’ve ever seen in the 20 years that I’ve been working with them. There are still a...

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No Stone Unturned

The West Mata Volcanic Group is unique. The tectonics of the place are like no other, and so is the opportunity that theses volcanoes offer...

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Rocking it

It takes about an hour and a half for the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian to reach the 1900 meter mark near the bottom of...

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Underwater Fire ~ Searching ~ Week 03 Video

An animation explaining the #UnderwaterFire expedition, narrated by chief scientist Dr. Ken Rubin. Learn why scientists are interested in plate tectonics and underwater volcanoes, and...

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The Art and Science of Submersible Dive Planning

So you want to go to the seafloor. You want to go exploring, see some amazing stuff, do some interesting science, and share it with...

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What is the point?

With time, Co-Chief Scientists Drs. Ken Rubin and Bill Chadwick have developed a sort of Zen philosophy that enables them to cope with the ups...

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Underwater Fire ~ Week 02 Video

“On these expeditions, I always have to remind myself that what we are seeing on the video screen or computer monitor is not somewhere else...

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Maps by Susan Merle and Bill Chadwick.

New Views of the Seafloor

One of the main missions for the Sentry Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) on the first leg of this expedition has been to collect high-resolution bathymetry...

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Where there is smoke…

As the old saying goes, "Where there is smoke, there is fire." This is the approach researchers on R/V Falkor are using: searching for particles and...

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Fire Meets Water

Like a domino effect, several things happen to seawater when it comes in contact with a volcano. When a volcano is not erupting and there...

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Susan Merle

What is so interesting about Submarine volcanoes?

Jagged piles of molten rock, sulfurous smoke, exploding gaseous emissions, shifting landscapes, otherworldly creatures, scalding acidic fluids, swirling plumes of volcanic gasses and particles, and...

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Susan Merle

Our First Discovery!

One of the first things we did once we arrived at West Mata volcano was resurvey the seamount with R/V Falkor’s multibeam sonar system. We knew...

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Bill Spencer/SOI

A Changing Landscape

West Mata is a Restless Volcano. West Mata Seamount is one of only two submarine volcanoes in the world where an active eruption has been directly...

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Underwater Fire ~ Week 01 Video

Why are the researchers searching for submarine volcanoes here? What do they hope to discover? How will they be searching? Check out the first weekly...

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Exceptional Setting, Unusual Questions

At an early age, when his peers were interested in dinosaurs or stars, Dr. Ken Rubin was thinking about volcanoes. Years later, most of the...

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Underwater Fire Essentials

Volcanic activity is enthralling, but when observed deep below the seafloor from a Remotely Operated Vehicle, like SuBastian, it has an additional mysterious and dream-like...

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Live Streaming ROV Dive - #UnderwaterFire - North Tafu EruptionWatch Live
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