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East Gakkel Ridge at 85°E volcano

Updated: Mar 25, 2023 17:48 GMT -
Submarine volcano -3,800 m / -12,467 ft
Arctic Ocean, 85.61°N / 85.25°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)

The Gakkel Ridge is a slow-spreading oceanic rift, that forms part of the northern continuation of the Mid-Altantic Ridge, separating the North American and Eurasian plates.
It is thus clear that volcanic eruptions occur in this area from time to time to form new oceanic crust, but due to the difficulties to access the area, it has been a largely unknown area to geologists until recently.
Over the past two decades, research in the Arctic has finally been able to map parts of the sea floor in this area and identify some of its active volcanoes. An earthquake swarm with characteristics of a fissure eruption was detected at the Eastern Gakkel Ridge in 1999 and corresponding volcanic deposits could be identified during a later survey in 2007, marking the first known indirectly observed volcanic eruption on the sea floor of the Arctic Ocean.

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Typical eruption style: unspecified
East Gakkel Ridge at 85°E volcano eruptions: 1999

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Two young volcanoes were discovered along the eastern part of the slow-spreading Gakkel Ridge during a bathymetric survey from a submarine in 1999. The westernmost volcano showed evidence of highly reflective, sediment-free surfaces and young faults overprinted by lava flows.
During January-September 1999 global seismic networks detected an earthquake swarm corresponding to the approximate location of this volcano. The correlation between the locations of the earthquake epicenter locations and the strongly reflective, untectonized western volcano together with the volcanic character of the seismic record provided evidence that lava erupted on the East Gakkel Ridge within days to months prior to a May 1999 submarine survey (Edwards et al., 2001).
A survey in July 2007 (Sohn et al., 2008) provided detailed bathymetry and named selected features, including the Oden (location of the 1999 seismicity), Thor, and Loke cones. Both Oden and Loke were covered with a light dusting of pyroclastic material, which was also found throughout the survey area, thought to be products of an eruption during the 1999 swarm.
Historical global seismic records indicate that this was the only earthquake swarm detected on the Gakkel Ridge in about 100 years.

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS
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