Biology at Axial Seamount
Axial Seamount is the most active deep-sea volcano on the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge, having erupted in 1998, 2011, and again in 2015, and hosts numerous vigorously venting hydrothermal vent fields. Because of this, it was chosen as a key site for NSFs’ Ocean Observatories Initiative Cabled Array. The summit of the volcano is at a water depth of 1500 m, and its base at 2600 m. Lava flows and hydrothermal vents provide habitats for a diverse assemblage of organisms in the volcano’s summit caldera, while a thick layer of pelagic mud offers a far different habitat for biological communities at Axial’s base.
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