Biology at Axial Seamount
Axial Seamount is the most volcanically active deep-sea volcano on the Juan de Fuca spreading ridge having erupted in 1998, 2011, and again in 2015. It also 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. View the information, images and video related to the many different biological organisms that have been observed over the years of Cabled Array expedition cruises.
View the Biology at Axial Seamount Videos.
This catalog is designed as a growing archive. We hope that knowledgeable individuals will help to improve the quality of the information presented here. Have an addition or revision? Get in touch via our Contact Page.
Special thanks to all those who contributed their time and knowledge to this endeavor.
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Arthropods at Axial
Axial Seamount’s spider crabs, squat lobsters, shrimp and sea spiders all belong to Phylum Arthropoda.
Ciliates on Axial
Colonial ciliates are single celled organisms, members of Kingdom Protista.
Cnidaria at Axial
Phylum Cnidaria includes jellyfish, anemones and coral, all of which may be found at Axial Seamount.
Echinoderms at Axial
Seastars, brittle stars, urchins, and sea cucumbers all belong to Phylum Echinodermata.
Fish at Axial
Bony Fish and Cartilaginous Fish
Mollusks at Axial
The Phylum Mollusca includes limpets, snails, and clams as well as octopuses and squid!
Polychaetes at Axial
Tubeworms, palm worms and scale worms (Phylum Annelida, Class Polychaeta) are all common on hydrothermal vents at Axial Seamount.
Salps at Axial
Salps are planktonic Tunicates, and are in Phylum Chordata along with fish and all vertebrate animals
Biology at Axial Seamount Videos
Each of the 8 taxonomic groups included in the Biology at Axial Seamount web pages has a series of HD video clips highlighting the different organisms described. The video was collected using one of two remotely operated vehicle