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Mariana Back-Arc Segment at 15.5°N volcano

Updated: Mar 24, 2023 10:49 GMT -
submarine volcano -4100 m / -13,451 ft
Mariana Islands, 15.41°N / 144.51°E
Current status: normal or dormant (1 out of 5)

Approx. 130 km west of Saipan lies a volcanically active submarine spreading zone at water depths of more than 4,000 meters. Evidence of significant volcanic activity from this area has been found recently.

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Typical eruption style: submarine effusive and explosive eruptions
Mariana Back-Arc Segment at 15.5°N volcano eruptions: A major submarine fissure eruption occurred during 2013-15 from a 10-km long fissure on the sea floor. It created large plumes of discolored water and pumice rafts that floated to the ocean surface, while massive lava flows were emplaced on the sea floor itself.

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A series of very recently erupted lava flows were discovered in late 2015 along the Mariana back-arc spreading zone about 130 km WNW of Saipan. The flows near 15.4°N were not present at the time of a February 2013 bathymetric survey.
Large hydrothermal plumes and intense chemical anomalies in the ocean overlie the area. The sediment-free pillow lavas have a dark glassy crust at water depths of between 4,100 and 4,450 m, believed to be the deepest historical eruption known, and the first to be found along a slow-spreading ridge.
This location, the segment centered at 15.5°N, is part of a line of recently surveyed spreading segments with anomalous hydrothermal plumes. The line parallels the Mariana Island chain (about 100 km E) and the Mariana Trench (about 300 km E).

See also: Sentinel hub | Landsat 8 | NASA FIRMS

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