Volcano erupting off the Coast of Oregon, but poses No Threat

Volcano erupting off the Coast of Oregon, but poses No Threat

Seismologists have said that the Axial Seamount, a 1,100 meter high submarine volcano 300 miles off the coast of Oregon, appears to be erupting, but no risk of quake or tsunami is posed by it to the state.

The seamount is also called as the Axial Volcano and it triggered over 8,000 mild earthquakes on April 24. It was also responsible for causing the seafloor to drop by some two meters. Hundreds of volcanoes have been posed by small quakes over the period of five months. The earthquakes emerge after magma forces its way through the rock.

Seismologists have said that no threat is being posed by series of eruptions to coastal residents, given the earthquakes are small quakes mostly magnitude 1 or 2. Also, there is no risk of tsunami as seafloor movements have been relatively gradual.

Seismologists have said that the Axial Seamount is the youngest volcano and is the most active submarine volcano in the Cobb-Eickelberg Seamount chain. The eruption of the Axial Seamount was no surprise for Bill Chadwick, an Oregon State University geologist. He predicted the eruption to occur this year in addition to a previous eruption predicted by him in 2011.

According to Chadwick, it is simpler to predict when seamounts will erupt than predicting the eruption of terrestrial volcanoes. Terrestrial volcanoes have thicker crusts and large earthquakes, other nearby volcanoes influence them. As a result, it becomes very difficult to predict their eruptions, said Chadwick.

"Volcanoes like this (the Axsial Seamount) have very fluid magma that is supplied from below, seemingly continuously. It's like a balloon filling with air. The seafloor actually rises -- that's what we're measuring", said Chadwick.

A cable on the seafloor is used by Chadwick and other scientists to keep a watch on the activity at Axial Seamount in real-time.


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