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Vailulu’u Seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano

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dc.creator Staudigel, Hubert
dc.creator Hart, Stanley R.
dc.creator Pile, Adele
dc.creator Bailey, Bradley E.
dc.creator Baker, Edward T.
dc.creator Brooke, Sandra
dc.creator Connelly, Douglas P.
dc.creator Haucke, Lisa
dc.creator German, Christopher R.
dc.creator Hudson, Ian
dc.creator Daniel Jones
dc.creator Koppers, Anthony A. P.
dc.creator Konter, Jasper
dc.creator Lee, Ray
dc.creator Pietsch, Theodore W.
dc.creator Tebo, Bradley M.
dc.creator Templeton, Alexis S.
dc.creator Zierenberg, Robert
dc.creator Young, Craig M.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-01-17T23:42:15Z
dc.date.available 2012-01-17T23:42:15Z
dc.date.issued 2006-04-25
dc.identifier.citation Staudigel, H., Hart, S. R., Pile, A., Bailey, B. E., Baker, E. T., Brooke, S., et al. (2006, April 25). Vailulu’u Seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano [Electronic version]. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(17), 6448-6453. doi:10.1073/pnas.0600830103 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/26807
dc.description This is the publisher’s final pdf. The published article is copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America and can be found at: http://www.pnas.org/. en_US
dc.description.abstract Submersible exploration of the Samoan hotspot revealed a new, 300-m-tall, volcanic cone, named Nafanua, in the summit crater of Vailulu’u seamount. Nafanua grew from the 1,000-m-deep crater floor in <4 years and could reach the sea surface within decades. Vents fill Vailulu’u crater with a thick suspension of particulates and apparently toxic fluids that mix with seawater entering from the crater breaches. Low-temperature vents form Fe oxide chimneys in many locations and up to 1-m-thick layers of hydrothermal Fe floc on Nafanua. High-temperature (81°C) hydrothermal vents in the northern moat (945-m water depth) produce acidic fluids (pH 2.7) with rising droplets of (probably) liquid CO₂. The Nafanua summit vent area is inhabited by a thriving population of eels (Dysommina rugosa) that feed on midwater shrimp probably concentrated by anticyclonic currents at the volcano summit and rim. The moat and crater floor around the new volcano are littered with dead metazoans that apparently died from exposure to hydrothermal emissions. Acid-tolerant polychaetes (Polynoidae) live in this environment, apparently feeding on bacteria from decaying fish carcasses. Vailulu’u is an unpredictable and very active underwater volcano presenting a potential long-term volcanic hazard. Although eels thrive in hydrothermal vents at the summit of Nafanua, venting elsewhere in the crater causes mass mortality. Paradoxically, the same anticyclonic currents that deliver food to the eels may also concentrate a wide variety of nektonic animals in a death trap of toxic hydrothermal fluids. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship This work was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Oceans Exploration and the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory–NOAA Undersea Research Program, the National Science Foundation, the Australian Research Council, and the SERPENT program. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher The National Academy of Sciences of the USA en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Vol. 103 no. 17 en_US
dc.subject currents en_US
dc.subject habitats en_US
dc.subject hydrothermal en_US
dc.subject vents en_US
dc.subject eels en_US
dc.title Vailulu’u Seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.peerreview yes en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1073/pnas.0600830103


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