Havre Volcano in the Kermadec Arc: A Mount St. Helens-Scale Explosive Eruption in the Deep Sea

Adam Soule
Associate Scientist

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, 3:00pm
Chase 130

Havre Volcano in the Kermadec Arc experienced a large eruption in 2012. The eruption was identified when ships in the area intersected a pumice raft, which was subsequently tracked by NASA MODIS satellite imagery. In 2015, a research cruise to the area conducted AUV and ROV dives to map and sample the deposits of the eruption, the first time the deposits from a recent deep-sea explosive eruption have been investigated. High-resolution mapping data and seafloor observations allow us to document the depositional landforms in great detail. Notable features include effusive domes, lava flows, and a widespread blanket of giant pumice and ash. With constraints from seafloor imagery, we use the morphology of the imaged landforms to delineate deposit extents, identify intra-flow and intra-deposit features, pinpoint vent locations, and, in comparison with pre-eruption bathymetry, determine eruptive volumes. This information informs preliminary models of eruption, transport, and deposition processes that highlight how the overlying water column impacts explosive volcanism in the oceans.


Adam Soule is an Associate Scientist with tenure in the Geology and Geophysics department of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is a marine geologist with a specialty in submarine volcanic systems. He has worked on the physics of magma storage, transport, and eruption at mid-ocean ridges, submarine arcs, and ocean islands through a combination of acoustic mapping, geochemical analyses, and numerical modeling. Adam currently serves as the Chief Scientist for Deep Submergence at WHOI, facilitating the US scientific communities use of deep diving human occupied and robotic vehicles.