Submarine Ring of Fire 2003 - Mariana Arc
Part II: Initial Survey of the Mariana Submarine Volcanoes
February 9 March 5, 2003
An interdisciplinary team of scientists explored the submarine volcanoes of the Mariana Arc lying north of Guam in the western Pacific from February 9 to March 5.
It is here that most of the ocean crust, born along the mid-ocean ridges millions of years ago in the eastern Pacific, is recycled back into the Earths mantle as the ocean floor descends into the Mariana Trench. A portion of the ocean crust remelts and rises to the surface behind the trench along a line of more than 40 submarine volcanoes and volcanic islands extending north of Guam for more than 1,000 kilometers.
The team used the latest sea-floor mapping tools and sensors to image the volcanoes and to detect plumes of heat, gas and metals rising from the hydrothermal systems along the arc.
Although previous investigators have mapped and sampled portions of the Mariana Trench and many of the arc volcanoes during the past several decades, this was the first dedicated exploration of the submarine hydrothermal systems of the arc.
Updates & Logs
Click images or links below for detailed mission logs.
The Ring of Fire Missions
Click images or links below for more information on all Ring of Fire missions.
Take a trip to the seafloor! Explore the hydrothermal vents of the Magic Mountain Chimney Fields via a series of interactive computer animations and videos. (Where is Magic Mountain?)
(July - August) Scientists return to the Kermadec Arc, to explore in great detail the Brothers submarine volcano. This will mark the most comprehensive exploration of this type of arc volcano and is one of the most vigorous geothermaly active yet discovered.
(April - May) Scientists return to explore active submarine volcanoes lying along the Mariana Arc, extending for more than 800 nautical miles.
(April - May) Join scientist as they explore the active submarine volcanoes along the Kermadec Arc, located north of New Zealand, with a pair of manned submersibles the PISCES IV and V.
(March - April) An interdisciplinary team of scientists returned to the submarine volcanoes of the Mariana Arc to explore, utilizing an underwater tethered robot (ROPOS).
(February - March) An interdisciplinary team of scientists explored the submarine volcanoes of the Mariana Arc lying north of Guam in the western Pacific.
(June - August) An interdisciplinary exploration team used new technology to investigate the birth of new ocean crust off the coast of western North America, part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire."