Friday, October 9, 2015

Just a bubbling up under the sea near Dixon Entrance

The Canadian Coast Guard Ship
John P Tully recently took scientists
to Dixon Entrance to investigate
volcanic venting on the seabed 
A Canadian and an American Scientist have found that the string of recent seismic activity around the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System has led them an active volcano just venting away some 3,000 below the sea bed.

The fault line which is found off shore of British Columbia and Alaska,  and located  northwest of Haida Gwaii near Dixon Entrance is apparently home to a number of volcano sites, with all but one of those discovered by the scientists currently dormant.

And while the active location is venting, there isn't at this time any expectation of any danger for the area, with no fresh lava found to indicate any major activity. The multiple gas plumes noted at the site rise to about 700 metres into the water column.

The research trip took place between September 15 and 23 aboard the Canadian Coast Guard vessel the John P. Tully, with Vaughn Barrie of the Canadian Geological Survey, Gary Greene of the Sitka Science Centre and a group  of other scientists and technicians exploring the deep expanse of the seabed near Dixon Entrance.

The group deployed a camera to take photos of some of the marine life living near the active volcanic vents, as well as a number of other rare and exotic organisms. The volcano is in an area that appears to be a volcanic field which is interspersed with landslides and other landforms.

A look at the the results of
soundings on the seabed floor

(photo from Sitka Science Centre)
Some of the marine life found near
an actively venting volcano on the
seabed near Dixon Entrance

(photo from Sitka Science Centre)

You can learn more about their work from the Sitka Science Centre website, while Ketchikan's Public Radio Station KRBD recently aired this report on the discovery.

For more background on seismic activity along the North Coast, Southeast Alaska and Haida Gwaii see our archive page here.

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