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Vents Program NOAA
Researching the effects of underwater hydrothermal venting systems
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  Marianas Submarine Volcanoes  
  map of the Marianas
The red arc of seamounts shows the Mariana volcanoes under study. The dark blue color indicates the Mariana trench, the deepest place on the planet.
The Mariana Volcanic Arc extends from 13°N to 23°N in the western Pacific Ocean, northwest of Guam. The Marianas region contains 9 volcanic islands more than 50 submarine volcanoes over a distance of more than 1000 km. The summits of these submarine volcanoes range from 50 m to more than 1800 m below sea level. The Marianas is one of the most active volcanic arcs on Earth.

In February 2003, the Vents Program conducted an extensive survey of the submarine volcanoes in the Mariana Arc (funded in part by NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program). This expedition included detailed mapping of the seafloor and a search for indications of hydrothermal venting at each volcano. It was found that about 20% of the Marianas submarine volcanoes were hydrothermally active. A follow up expedition with a remotely operated vehicle will investigate these sites on the seafloor.

For more information on the Marianas see:

Ocean Exploration Ring of Fire website

Ocean Exploration Ring of Fire website
Cruise report (pdf)
Multimedia gallery (Vents Program | Ocean Explorer)
Ocean Exploration Ring of Fire website
Cruise report (pdf)
Expedition photo and video log

updated 4/2006

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