May 11, 2009


West Mata is erupting!

Hades eruptive site at West Mata
Joe Resing, Chief Scientist.
West Mata volcano is erupting! We have seen pillow lavas, pyroclastic (magmatic gas breaks apart the lava) and phreatic (lava flows over water which turns into steam which breaks apart the rock), events. It is incredible. Here is one picture; we hope to get some video footage out as soon as possible. This dive is still happening and we have been in the water for about 3.5 hours. Less than 24 hours after leaving port, we have located on the seafloor an ongoing eruption that we first detected several months ago on a water-column mapping cruise (November 2008).

All high-definition video by Advanced Imaging and Visualization Lab, copyright WHOI