background lava image
Videos, virtual realities, and fly-throughs from the Ring of Fire
background lava image
Videos | Virtual Fly-Throughs |Virtual Realities
2004 Videos: Ocean Explorer Return to the Mariana Arc
(Each video clip has a link to a 320 x 240 movie on the Ocean Explorer site, or a larger 480 x 360 Quicktime version.)
brimstone1 video still   ROPOS at the edge of Brimstone Pit near the summit of NW Rota 1 volcano, showing ash and sulfur laden eruptions from the crater. The crater is at a depth of 555 meters. The yellow color of the billowing clouds is due to droplets of molten sulfur in the plume bursts. (Quicktime:OE site- 2 MB |full-size 7.7 MB)
brimstone 2 video still   ROPOS at the edge of Brimstone Pit near the summit of NW Rota 1 volcano, showing a burst of ash, sulfur, and small rocks from the crater. This type of activity has probably never been witnessed on a submarine volcano before. (Quicktime: OE site- 2.1 MB | full-size 7.1 MB)
rotashrimp video still   We found two species of shrimp at the hydrothermal vents at NW Rota 1 volcano - one large and one small. The small one may be a new species. They both graze on the microbial mats found around the vents. (Quicktime:OE site- 1.9 MB | full-size 7.4 MB)
shrimpsample video still   Biological specimens are collected to identify and study the unusual species found at hydrothermal vents. The shrimp at NW Rota 1 volcano were difficult to capture and required patience from the scientists and dexterity by the ROPOS pilots controlling the suction sampler. The control room celebrates after a long and anxious pursuit. (Quicktime:OE site- 1.5MB | full-size 5.6 MB )
blackforest1 video still   Hot water at 240 degrees Celsius (460 degrees Fahrenheit) vents from chimneys made of sulfide minerals at the Black Forest site at East Diamante volcano. This temperature is right at the boiling point at this depth (345 meters) and bubbles of gas or steam can be seen escaping from some of the chimneys. (Quicktime:OE site- 1.9 MB | full-size 7.1 MB)
blackforest2 video still   The Black Forest chimney field at East Diamante volcano is a linear zone on the side of a cone inside the caldera of the volcano. This is about as shallow as black smoker vents can form (345 meters), vividly illustrated when an angel fish swims by. It is safe to say that black smoker chimneys and reef fish are almost never seen together in the same view! (Quicktime:OE site 620 KB | full-size 2.3 MB)
fivetowers video still   This sulfide chimney at East Diamante volcano is 9 meters tall and is actively venting hot water that appears smokey because of entrained mineral particles. The chimney was later renamed to "Five Towers" after more active vents were found on the other side. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.7 MB | full-size 7.3 MB)
diamante1 video still   The dives near hydrothermal vents at East Diamante volcano (between 300-350 meters depth) encountered animals such as crabs, basket stars, crabs, barnacles, and snails. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.9 MB | full-size 5.5 MB)
diamante2 video still   A ROPOS transect made from 200 up to 165 meters depth on the central cone at East Diamante volcano found a remarkable zone where chemosynthesis and photosynthesis overlap. Here, life forms dependent on chemical energy usually found in the deep ocean, are seen in the same area as animals dependent on sunlight. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.4MB | full-size 7.4MB)
diamante3 video still  

The "Aquarium" site at East Diamante volcano is a lush marine community located in the deepest part of the photosynthetic zone. You can tell by the excited voices of the scientists that the abundant and colorful life here contrasts dramatically with the sparser biological communities they are used to seeing at deep ocean hydrothermal vents. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.9 MB | full-size 6.7 MB)

Maug Island   Maug island consists of three islets that form the rim of a volcanic crater flooded by the sea. The R/V Thompson made two dives inside the crater at Maug with the ROPOS remotely operated vehicle. This movie shows a ROPOS deployment from several different points of view. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.9 MB| full-size 6.3MB)
Eifuku bubbles   Bubbles of liquid carbon dioxide rise from hydrothermal vents at NW Eifuku volcano. At this pressure (2300 pounds per square inch) and temperature (2C or 36F) carbon dioxide is a viscous sticky liquid, evident in the way that it accumulated on the undersides of the ROPOS vehicle. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.9 MB | full-size 7.2MB)
crab at Eifuku   An extraordinary biological community exists at NW Eifuku volcano that is dominated by a very large and densely populated bed of hydrothermal mussels. Other vent animals at the hot springs include crabs, shrimp, scale worms, and limpets. (Quicktime: OE site- 1.8MB | full-size 7.0MB)
sulfur mound   Around some of the seafloor hot springs at NW Eifuku volcano, strange-looking mounds of sulfur have been built that have thin finger-like projections. Each "finger" has a small crater at the top where molten sulfur has been expelled to build up the mound. (Quicktime: OE site 1.8MB | full-size 7.0MB)
Eifuku Champagne vent   This movie shows the discovery of Champagne vent at northwest Eifuku volcano, where bubbles of liquid carbon dioxide are actively venting from seafloor hot springs. This unusual behavior is due to the fact that the emissions from NW Eifuku volcano are particularly gas-rich. The high pressure at this depth keeps the carbon dioxide in a liquid state; Champagne vent is at a depth of 1607 m (5270 ft). (Quicktime: OE site 1.9MB | full-size 6.3 MB)
Eifuku Cliffhouse vent   Cliffhouse vent is located at northwest Eifuku volcano on the upper edge of a large field of hydrothermal mussels. Areas of shimmering water attract other vent animals such as shrimp and limpets. (Quicktime: OE site 1.8MB | full-size 8.6MB)
Eifuku bacteria balls   Large areas of the summit of northwest Eifuku volcano were covered with orange bacterial mat. This mat is the biproduct of hydrothermal microbes growing in areas where warm water is seeping out of the volcano. On steep slopes, the mat sometimes cascades downhill as "bacteria balls". (Quicktime: OE site 2 MB| full-size 7.5MB)
Virtual Fly-throughs: Ocean Explorer Mariana Arc (click image for site)
NW Rota fly through   Fly-through of 2004 towyos and bathymetry at NW Rota-1 submarine volcano.
Quicktime (*.mov): 1MB | 4MB
Windows Media Video (*.wmv):
.4MB | 4MB
still image from fly-through   See the satellite and sonar survey animation of the Mariana Arc Volcanic Chain (Quicktime 3.4 MB)
still image for fly-through   Take a trip to the seafloor of the Mariana Arc! (Quicktime 2.6 MB)
still from fly-through   Fly-over the NW Uracas and Ahyi submarine volcanoes (Quicktime 3.3 MB)
Virtual Realities: Ocean Explorer Magic Mountain Virtual Site (click image for site)
small map image   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?)

Return to Vents Ring of Fire site

To follow these expeditions, visit:

link to Ocean Explorer NOAA's Ocean Explorer

Vents Home
Privacy Policy
DOC / NOAA / OAR / PMEL / Vents Program
7600 Sand Point Way NE
Building 3
Seattle, WA 98115-6349
black bar image
Hatfield Marine Science Center
2115 SE Oregon State University Dr.
Newport, OR 97365
email feedback
NOAA Vents Program Exploring the Submarine Ring of Fire