Lesson 5: Axial Seamount (2)

Lesson 5: Investigating Axial Seamount (2)
Introduction to Axial Seamount and Exploration of its bathymetry, seafloor morphology, and environments


Introduction: Show "Exploring a Deep Sea Volcano" and "Down to the Volcano".

Tell students that Axial Seamount is the largest and most active underwater volcano off our coast, having erupted in 1998, 2011, and 2015 – it is poised to erupt again.

We know a lot about Axial Seamount because of data collected by Ocean Observatory Initiative’s Regional Cabled Array. Over 70% of the volcanism on Earth occurs under water along the mid-ocean ridge spreading centers.

As such it is important for us to know about these volcanoes because they form the face of our planet, hidden beneath the oceans and it is within these environments likely where life on began ~ 3.7 billion years ago.

Show: Several images from the Axial Seamount Environments Gallery.

Ask: What do you notice? What do you wonder? How have we been able to learn about Axial Seamount?


Give students time to explore the Interactive Map on the Interactive oceans Data Portal and the Environments Gallery. The slide show below provides links to specific Regional Cabled Array sites in the caldera such as the ASHES and International District Hydrothermal Fields, and the Central Caldera site hosting an array of geophysical instruments. The slide show also includes a high resolution bathymetri map of the caldera showing the location of lava flows, diffuse and high temperature vent sites, and Regional Cabled Array infrastructure.



Exploring a Deep Volcano
Down to the Volcano
Interactive Map
Axial Seamount Gallery Interactive Oceans