Soule Samuel A.

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Samuel A.

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  • Article
    Submarine Fernandina : magmatism at the leading edge of the Galapagos hot spot
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-12-19) Geist, Dennis J. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Harpp, Karen S. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Perfit, Michael R. ; Koleszar, Alison M.
    New multibeam and side-scan sonar surveys of Fernandina volcano and the geochemistry of lavas provide clues to the structural and magmatic development of Galápagos volcanoes. Submarine Fernandina has three well-developed rift zones, whereas the subaerial edifice has circumferential fissures associated with a large summit caldera and diffuse radial fissures on the lower slopes. Rift zone development is controlled by changes in deviatoric stresses with increasing distance from the caldera. Large lava flows are present on the gently sloping and deep seafloor west of Fernandina. Fernandina's submarine lavas are petrographically more diverse than the subaerial suite and include picrites. Most submarine glasses are similar in composition to aphyric subaerially erupted lavas, however. These rocks are termed the “normal” series and are believed to result from cooling and crystallization in the subcaldera magma system, which buffers the magmas both thermally and chemically. These normal-series magmas are extruded laterally through the flanks of the volcano, where they scavenge and disaggregate olivine-gabbro mush to produce picritic lavas. A suite of lavas recovered from the terminus of the SW submarine rift and terraces to the south comprises evolved basalts and icelandites with MgO = 3.1 to 5.0 wt.%. This “evolved series” is believed to form by fractional crystallization at 3 to 5 kb, involving extensive crystallization of clinopyroxene and titanomagnetite in addition to plagioclase. “High-K” lavas were recovered from the southwest rift and are attributed to hybridization between normal-series basalt and evolved-series magma. The geochemical and structural findings are used to develop an evolutionary model for the construction of the Galápagos Platform and better understand the petrogenesis of the erupted lavas. The earliest stage is represented by the deep-water lava flows, which over time construct a broad submarine platform. The deep-water lavas originate from the subcaldera plumbing system of the adjacent volcano. After construction of the platform, eruptions focus to a point source, building an island with rift zones extending away from the adjacent, buttressing volcanoes. Most rift zone magmas intrude laterally from the subcaldera magma chamber, although a few evolve by crystallization in the upper mantle and deep crust.
  • Article
    Geochemistry of lavas from the 2005–2006 eruption at the East Pacific Rise, 9°46′N–9°56′N : implications for ridge crest plumbing and decadal changes in magma chamber compositions
    (American Geophysical Union, 2010-05-12) Goss, Adam R. ; Perfit, Michael R. ; Ridley, W. Ian ; Rubin, Kenneth H. ; Kamenov, George D. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Fundis, A. ; Fornari, Daniel J.
    Detailed mapping, sampling, and geochemical analyses of lava flows erupted from an ∼18 km long section of the northern East Pacific Rise (EPR) from 9°46′N to 9°56′N during 2005–2006 provide unique data pertaining to the short-term thermochemical changes in a mid-ocean ridge magmatic system. The 2005–2006 lavas are typical normal mid-oceanic ridge basalt with strongly depleted incompatible trace element patterns with marked negative Sr and Eu/Eu* anomalies and are slightly more evolved than lavas erupted in 1991–1992 at the same location on the EPR. Spatial geochemical differences show that lavas from the northern and southern limits of the 2005–2006 eruption are more evolved than those erupted in the central portion of the fissure system. Similar spatial patterns observed in 1991–1992 lavas suggest geochemical gradients are preserved over decadal time scales. Products of northern axial and off-axis fissure eruptions are consistent with the eruption of cooler, more fractionated lavas that also record a parental melt component not observed in the main suite of 2005–2006 lavas. Radiogenic isotopic ratios for 2005–2006 lavas fall within larger isotopic fields defined for young axial lavas from 9°N to 10°N EPR, including those from the 1991–1992 eruption. Geochemical data from the 2005–2006 eruption are consistent with an invariable mantle source over the spatial extent of the eruption and petrogenetic processes (e.g., fractional crystallization and magma mixing) operating within the crystal mush zone and axial magma chamber (AMC) before and during the 13 year repose period. Geochemical modeling suggests that the 2005–2006 lavas represent differentiated residual liquids from the 1991–1992 eruption that were modified by melts added from deeper within the crust and that the eruption was not initiated by the injection of hotter, more primitive basalt directly into the AMC. Rather, the eruption was driven by AMC pressurization from persistent or episodic addition of more evolved magma from the crystal mush zone into the overlying subridge AMC during the period between the two eruptions. Heat balance calculations of a hydrothermally cooled AMC support this model and show that continual addition of melt from the mush zone was required to maintain a sizable AMC over this time interval.
  • Article
    Channelized lava flows at the East Pacific Rise crest 9°–10°N : the importance of off-axis lava transport in developing the architecture of young oceanic crust
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-08-18) Soule, Samuel A. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Perfit, Michael R.
    Submarine lava flows are the building blocks of young oceanic crust. Lava erupted at the ridge axis is transported across the ridge crest in a manner dictated by the rheology of the lava, the characteristics of the eruption, and the topography it encounters. The resulting lava flows can vary dramatically in form and consequently in their impact on the physical characteristics of the seafloor and the architecture of the upper 50–500 m of the oceanic crust. We have mapped and measured numerous submarine channelized lava flows at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) crest 9°–10°N that reflect the high-effusion-rate and high-flow-velocity end-member of lava eruption and transport at mid-ocean ridges. Channel systems composed of identifiable segments 50–1000 m in length extend up to 3 km from the axial summit trough (AST) and have widths of 10–50 m and depths of 2–3 m. Samples collected within the channels are N-MORB with Mg# indicating eruption from the AST. We produce detailed maps of lava surface morphology across the channel surface from mosaics of digital images that show lineated or flat sheets at the channel center bounded by brecciated lava at the channel margins. Modeled velocity profiles across the channel surface allow us to determine flux through the channels from 0.4 to 4.7 × 103 m3/s, and modeled shear rates help explain the surface morphology variation. We suggest that channelized lava flows are a primary mechanism by which lava accumulates in the off-axis region (1–3 km) and produces the layer 2A thickening that is observed at fast and superfast spreading ridges. In addition, the rapid, high-volume-flux eruptions necessary to produce channelized flows may act as an indicator of the local magma budget along the EPR. We find that high concentrations of channelized lava flows correlate with local, across-axis ridge morphology indicative of an elevated magma budget. Additionally, in locations where channelized flows are located dominantly to the east or west of the AST, the ridge crest is asymmetric, and layer 2A appears to thicken over a greater distance from the AST toward the side of the ridge crest where the channels are located.
  • Article
    Paleointensity applications to timing and extent of eruptive activity, 9°–10°N East Pacific Rise
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-06-08) Bowles, Julie A. ; Gee, Jeffrey S. ; Kent, Dennis V. ; Perfit, Michael R. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Fornari, Daniel J.
    Placing accurate age constraints on near-axis lava flows has become increasingly important given the structural and volcanic complexity of the neovolcanic zone at fast spreading ridges. Geomagnetic paleointensity of submarine basaltic glass (SBG) holds promise for placing quantitative age constraints on near-axis flows. In one of the first extensive tests of paleointensity as a dating tool or temporal marker we present the results of over 550 successful SBG paleointensity estimates from 189 near-axis (<4 km) sites at the East Pacific Rise, 9°–10°N. Paleointensities range from 6 to 53 μT and spatially correspond to the pattern expected from known temporal variations in the geomagnetic field. Samples within and adjacent to the axial summit trough (AST) have values approximately equal to or slightly higher than the present-day. Samples out to 1–3 km from the AST have values higher than the present-day, and samples farther off axis have values lower than the present-day. The on-axis samples (<500 m from the AST) provide a test case for using models of paleofield variation for the past few hundred years as an absolute dating technique. Results from samples collected near a well-documented eruption in 1991–1992 suggest there may be a small negative bias in the paleointensity estimates, limiting resolution of the dating technique. Possible explanations for such a bias include local field anomalies produced by preexisting magnetic terrain; anomalously high magnetic unblocking temperatures, leading to a small cooling rate bias; and/or the possibility of a chemical remanence produced by in situ alteration of samples likely to have complicated thermal histories. Paleointensity remains useful in approximating age differences in young flows, and a clear along-axis paleointensity contrast near 9°50′N is suggestive of a ∼150–200 year age difference. Paleointensity values of off-axis samples are generally consistent with rough age interpretations based on side scan data. Furthermore, spatial patterns in the paleointensity suggest extensive off-axis flow emplacement may occur infrequently, with recurrence intervals of 10–20 kyr. Results of a stochastic model of lava emplacement show that this can be achieved with a single distribution of flows, with flow size linked to time between eruptions.
  • Article
    The largest deep-ocean silicic volcanic eruption of the past century
    (American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018-01-10) Carey, Rebecca ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Manga, Michael ; White, James D. L. ; McPhie, Jocelyn ; Wysoczanski, Richard ; Jutzeler, Martin ; Tani, Kenichiro ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Caratori Tontini, Fabio ; Houghton, Bruce ; Mitchell, Samuel ; Ikegami, Fumihiko ; Conway, Chris E. ; Murch, Arran ; Fauria, Kristen ; Jones, Meghan ; Cahalan, Ryan ; McKenzie, Warren
    The 2012 submarine eruption of Havre volcano in the Kermadec arc, New Zealand, is the largest deep-ocean eruption in history and one of very few recorded submarine eruptions involving rhyolite magma. It was recognized from a gigantic 400-km2 pumice raft seen in satellite imagery, but the complexity of this event was concealed beneath the sea surface. Mapping, observations, and sampling by submersibles have provided an exceptionally high fidelity record of the seafloor products, which included lava sourced from 14 vents at water depths of 900 to 1220 m, and fragmental deposits including giant pumice clasts up to 9 m in diameter. Most (>75%) of the total erupted volume was partitioned into the pumice raft and transported far from the volcano. The geological record on submarine volcanic edifices in volcanic arcs does not faithfully archive eruption size or magma production.
  • Article
    Submeter bathymetric mapping of volcanic and hydrothermal features on the East Pacific Rise crest at 9°50′N
    (American Geophysical Union, 2007-01-19) Ferrini, Vicki L. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Carbotte, Suzanne M. ; Whitcomb, Louis L. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Howland, Jonathan C.
    Recent advances in underwater vehicle navigation and sonar technology now permit detailed mapping of complex seafloor bathymetry found at mid-ocean ridge crests. Imagenex 881 (675 kHz) scanning sonar data collected during low-altitude (~5 m) surveys conducted with DSV Alvin were used to produce submeter resolution bathymetric maps of five hydrothermal vent areas at the East Pacific Rise (EPR) Ridge2000 Integrated Study Site (9°50′N, “bull's-eye”). Data were collected during 29 dives in 2004 and 2005 and were merged through a grid rectification technique to create high-resolution (0.5 m grid) composite maps. These are the first submeter bathymetric maps generated with a scanning sonar mounted on Alvin. The composite maps can be used to quantify the dimensions of meter-scale volcanic and hydrothermal features within the EPR axial summit trough (AST) including hydrothermal vent structures, lava pillars, collapse areas, the trough walls, and primary volcanic fissures. Existing Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) bathymetry data (675 kHz scanning sonar) collected at this site provide the broader geologic context necessary to interpret the meter-scale features resolved in the composite maps. The grid rectification technique we employed can be used to optimize vehicle time by permitting the creation of high-resolution bathymetry maps from data collected during multiple, coordinated, short-duration surveys after primary dive objectives are met. This method can also be used to colocate future near-bottom sonar data sets within the high-resolution composite maps, enabling quantification of bathymetric changes associated with active volcanic, hydrothermal and tectonic processes.
  • Article
    Formation of submarine lava channel textures : insights from laboratory simulations
    (American Geophysical Union, 2006-03-28) Garry, W. Brent ; Gregg, Tracy K. P. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Fornari, Daniel J.
    Laboratory simulations using polyethylene glycol (PEG) extruded at a constant rate and temperature into a tank with a uniform basal slope and filled with a cold sucrose solution generate channels that are defined by stationary levees and mobile flow interiors. These laboratory channels consistently display the following surface textures in the channel: smooth, folded, lineated, and chaotic. In the simulations, we can observe specific local conditions including flow rate, position within the channel, and time that combine to develop each texture. The textures in PEG flows form due to relative differences in shear forces between the PEG crust and the underlying liquid wax. Minimal shear forces form smooth crust, whereas folded crust forms when the shear is sufficiently high to cause ductile deformation. Brittle deformation of solid PEG creates a chaotic texture, and lineated crust results from shear forces along the channel-levee margin. We observe similar textures in submarine lava channels with sources at or near the Axial Summit Trough of the East Pacific Rise between 9° and 10°N. We mapped the surface textures of nine submarine lava channels using high-resolution digital images collected during camera tows. These textural maps, along with observations of the formation of similar features in analog flows, reveal important information about the mechanisms occurring across the channel during emplacement, including relative flow velocity and shear stress.
  • Article
    Biogeochemical exploration of the Pescardero Basin vents
    (The Oceanography Society, 2018-03) Michel, Anna P. M. ; Wankel, Scott D. ; Beaulieu, Stace E. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Mullineaux, Lauren S. ; Coleman, Dwight ; Escobar Briones, Elva ; Gaytan-Caballero, Adriana ; McDermott, Jill M. ; Mills, Susan W. ; Speth, Dan ; Zierenberg, Robert
  • Article
    Geophysical modeling of collapse-prone zones at Rumble III seamount, southern Pacific Ocean, New Zealand
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2013-10-18) Tontini, F. Caratori ; de Ronde, Cornel E. J. ; Kinsey, James C. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Yoerger, Dana R. ; Cocchi, L.
    Catastrophic collapses of submarine volcanoes have the potential to generate major tsunami, threatening many coastal populations. Recognizing the difficulties surrounding anticipations of these events, quantitative assessment of collapse-prone regions based on detailed morphological, geological, and geophysical mapping can still provide important information about the hazards associated with these collapses. Rumble III is one of the shallowest, and largest, submarine volcanoes found along the Kermadec arc, and is both volcanically and hydrothermally active. Previous surveys have delineated major collapse features at Rumble III; based on time-lapse bathymetry, dramatic changes in the volcano morphology have been shown to have occurred over the interval 2007–2009. Furthermore, this volcano is located just ∼300 km from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. Here, we present a geophysical model for Rumble III that provides the locations and sizes of potential weak regions of this volcano. Shipborne and near-seafloor geological and geophysical data collected by the AUV Sentry are used to determine the subsurface distribution of weak and unstable volcanic rocks. The resulting model provides evidence for potentially unstable areas located in the Southeastern flank of this volcano which should be included in future hazard predictions.
  • Article
    Morphology and dynamics of inflated subaqueous basaltic lava flows
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-06-04) Deschamps, Anne ; Grigne, Cecile ; Le Saout, Morgane ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Allemand, Pascal ; Van Vliet-Lanoe, Brigitte ; Floc'h, France
    During eruptions onto low slopes, basaltic Pahoehoe lava can form thin lobes that progressively coalesce and inflate to many times their original thickness, due to a steady injection of magma beneath brittle and viscoelastic layers of cooled lava that develop sufficient strength to retain the flow. Inflated lava flows forming tumuli and pressure ridges have been reported in different kinds of environments, such as at contemporary subaerial Hawaiian-type volcanoes in Hawaii, La Réunion and Iceland, in continental environments (states of Oregon, Idaho, Washington), and in the deep sea at Juan de Fuca Ridge, the Galapagos spreading center, and at the East Pacific Rise (this study). These lava have all undergone inflation processes, yet they display highly contrasting morphologies that correlate with their depositional environment, the most striking difference being the presence of water. Lava that have inflated in subaerial environments display inflation structures with morphologies that significantly differ from subaqueous lava emplaced in the deep sea, lakes, and rivers. Their height is 2–3 times smaller and their length being 10–15 times shorter. Based on heat diffusion equation, we demonstrate that more efficient cooling of a lava flow in water leads to the rapid development of thicker (by 25%) cooled layer at the flow surface, which has greater yield strength to counteract its internal hydrostatic pressure than in subaerial environments, thus limiting lava breakouts to form new lobes, hence promoting inflation. Buoyancy also increases the ability of a lava to inflate by 60%. Together, these differences can account for the observed variations in the thickness and extent of subaerial and subaqueous inflated lava flows.
  • Preprint
    The pumice raft-forming 2012 Havre submarine eruption was effusive
    ( 2018-02-14) Manga, Michael ; Fauria, Kristen ; Lin, Christina ; Mitchell, Samuel J. ; Jones, Meghan ; Conway, Chris E. ; Degruyter, Wim ; Hosseini, Behnaz ; Carey, Rebecca ; Cahalan, Ryan ; Houghton, Bruce ; White, James D. L. ; Jutzeler, Martin ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Tani, Kenichiro
    A long-standing conceptual model for deep submarine eruptions is that high hydrostatic pressure hinders degassing and acceleration, and suppresses magma fragmentation. The 2012 submarine rhyolite eruption of Havre volcano in the Kermadec arc provided constraints on critical parameters to quantitatively test these concepts. This eruption produced a > 1 km3 raft of floating pumice and a 0.1 km3 field of giant (>1 m) pumice clasts distributed down-current from the vent. We address the mechanism of creating these clasts using a model for magma ascent in a conduit. We use water ingestion experiments to address why some clasts float and others sink. We show that at the eruption depth of 900 m, the melt retained enough dissolved water, and hence had a low enough viscosity, that strain-rates were too low to cause brittle fragmentation in the conduit, despite mass discharge rates similar to Plinian eruptions on land. There was still, however, enough exsolved vapor at the vent depth to make the magma buoyant relative to seawater. Buoyant magma was thus extruded into the ocean where it rose, quenched, and fragmented to produce clasts up to several meters in diameter. We show that these large clasts would have floated to the sea surface within minutes, where air could enter pore space, and the fate of clasts is then controlled by the ability to trap gas within their pore space. We show that clasts from the raft retain enough gas to remain afloat whereas fragments from giant pumice collected from the seafloor ingest more water and sink. The pumice raft and the giant pumice seafloor deposit were thus produced during a clast-generating effusive submarine eruption, where fragmentation occurred above the vent, and the subsequent fate of clasts was controlled by their ability to ingest water.
  • Preprint
    Explosive volcanism on the ultraslow-spreading Gakkel ridge, Arctic Ocean
    ( 2007-11-26) Sohn, Robert A. ; Willis, Claire ; Humphris, Susan E. ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Singh, Hanumant ; Edmonds, Henrietta N. ; Kunz, Clayton G. ; Hedman, Ulf ; Helmke, Elisabeth ; Jakuba, Michael V. ; Liljebladh, Bengt ; Linder, Julia ; Murphy, Christopher A. ; Nakamura, Ko-ichi ; Sato, Taichi ; Schlindwein, Vera ; Stranne, Christian ; Tausenfreund, Upchurch ; Winsor, Peter ; Jakobsson, Martin ; Soule, Samuel A.
    Roughly 60% of the Earth’s outer surface is comprised of oceanic crust formed by volcanic processes at mid-ocean ridges (MORs). Although only a small fraction of this vast volcanic terrain has been visually surveyed and/or sampled, the available evidence suggests that explosive eruptions are rare on MORs, particularly at depths below the critical point for steam (3000 m). A pyroclastic deposit has never been observed on the seafloor below 3000 m, presumably because the volatile content of mid-ocean ridge basalts is generally too low to produce the gas fractions required to fragment a magma at such high hydrostatic pressure. We employed new deep submergence technologies during an International Polar Year expedition to the Gakkel Ridge in the Arctic Basin at 85°E, to acquire the first-ever photographic images of ‘zero-age’ volcanic terrain on this remote, ice-covered MOR. Our imagery reveals that the axial valley at 4000 m water depth is blanketed with unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits, including bubble wall fragments (limu o Pele), covering a large area greater than 10 km2. At least 13.5 wt% CO2 is required to fragment magma at these depths, which is ~10x greater than the highest values measured to-date in a MOR basalt. These observations raise important questions regarding the accumulation and discharge of magmatic volatiles at ultra-slow spreading rates on the Gakkel Ridge (6- 14 mm yr-1, full-rate), and demonstrate that large-scale pyroclastic activity is possible along even the deepest portions of the global MOR volcanic system.
  • Article
    Magmatic plumbing at Lucky Strike volcano based on olivine-hosted melt inclusion compositions
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2015-01-20) Wanless, V. Dorsey ; Shaw, Alison M. ; Behn, Mark D. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Escartin, Javier E. ; Hamelin, Cedric
    Here we present volatile, major, and trace element concentrations of 64 olivine-hosted melt inclusions from the Lucky Strike segment on the mid-Atlantic ridge. Lucky Strike is one of two locations where a crustal melt lens has been seismically imaged on a slow-spreading ridge. Vapor-saturation pressures, calculated from CO2 and H2O contents of Lucky Strike melt inclusions, range from approximately 300–3000 bars, corresponding to depths of 0.5–9.9 km below the seafloor. Approximately 50% of the melt inclusions record crystallization depths of 3–4 km, corresponding to the seismically imaged melt lens depth, while an additional ∼35% crystallize at depths > 4 km. This indicates that while crystallization is focused within the melt lens, significant crystallization also occurs in the lower crust and/or upper mantle. The melt inclusions span a range of major and trace element concentrations from normal to enriched basalts. Trace element ratios at all depths are heterogeneous, suggesting that melts are not efficiently homogenized in the mantle or crust, despite the presence of a melt lens. This is consistent with the transient nature of magma chambers proposed for slower-spreading ridges. To investigate the petrogenesis of the melt inclusion compositions, we compare the measured trace element compositions to theoretical melting calculations that consider variations in the melting geometry and heterogeneities in the mantle source. The full range of compositions can be produced by slight variations in the proportion of an Azores plume and depleted upper mantle components and changes in the total extent of melting.
  • Article
    Multiple expressions of plume-ridge interaction in the Galapagos : volcanic lineaments and ridge jumps
    (American Geophysical Union, 2012-05-31) Mittelstaedt, Eric ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Harpp, Karen S. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; McKee, C. ; Tivey, Maurice A. ; Geist, Dennis J. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Sinton, Christopher ; Mello, C.
    Anomalous volcanism and tectonics between near-ridge mantle plumes and mid-ocean ridges provide important insights into the mechanics of plume-lithosphere interaction. We present new observations and analysis of multibeam, side scan sonar, sub-bottom chirp, and total magnetic field data collected during the R/V Melville FLAMINGO cruise (MV1007; May–June, 2010) to the Northern Galápagos Volcanic Province (NGVP), the region between the Galápagos Archipelago and the Galápagos Spreading Center (GSC) on the Nazca Plate, and to the region east of the Galápagos Transform Fault (GTF) on the Cocos Plate. The NGVP exhibits pervasive off-axis volcanism related to the nearby Galápagos hot spot, which has dominated the tectonic evolution of the region. Observations indicate that ~94% of the excess volcanism in our survey area occurs on the Nazca Plate in three volcanic lineaments. Identified faults in the NGVP are consistent with normal ridge spreading except for those within a ~60 km wide swath of transform-oblique faults centered on the GTF. These transform-oblique faults are sub-parallel to the elongation direction of larger lineament volcanoes, suggesting that lineament formation is influenced by the lithospheric stress field. We evaluate current models for lineament formation using existing and new observations as well as numerical models of mantle upwelling and melting. The data support a model where the lithospheric stress field controls the location of volcanism along the lineaments while several processes likely supply melt to these eruptions. Synthetic magnetic models and an inversion for crustal magnetization are used to determine the tectonic history of the study area. Results are consistent with creation of the GTF by two southward ridge jumps, part of a series of jumps that have maintained a plume-ridge separation distance of 145 km to 215 km since ~5 Ma.
  • Article
    A record of eruption and intrusion at a fast spreading ridge axis : axial summit trough of the East Pacific Rise at 9–10°N
    (American Geophysical Union, 2009-10-22) Soule, Samuel A. ; Escartin, Javier E. ; Fornari, Daniel J.
    High-resolution side-scan sonar, near-bottom multibeam bathymetry, and deep-sea photo and bathymetry traverses are used to map the axial summit trough (AST) at the East Pacific Rise between 9 and 10°N. We define three ridge axis morphologic types: no AST, narrow AST, and wide AST, which characterize distinct ridge crest domains spanning tens of kilometers along strike. Near-bottom observations, modeling of deformation above intruding dikes, and comparisons to the geologic and geophysical structure of the ridge crest are used to develop a revised model of AST genesis and evolution. This model helps constrain the record of intrusive and extrusive magmatism and styles of lava deposition along the ridge crest at time scales from hundreds to tens of thousands of years. The grabens in the narrow-AST domain (9°43′–53′N) are consistent with deformation above the most recent (<10) diking events beneath the ridge crest. Frequent high–effusion rate extrusive volcanism in this domain (several eruptions every ∼100 years) overprints near-axis deformation and maintains a consistent AST width. The most recent eruption at the ridge crest occurred in this area and did not significantly modify the physical characteristics of the AST. The grabens in the wide-AST domain (9°23′–43′N) originated with similar dimensions to the narrow AST. Spreading, driven primarily by the intrusion of shallow dikes within a narrow axial zone, causes the initial graben bounding faults to migrate away from the axis. Infrequent extrusive volcanism (several eruptions every ∼1000 years) fills a portion of the subsidence that accumulates over time but does not significantly modify the width of the AST. Outside of these domains, lower–effusion rate constructional volcanism without efficient drain-back fills and erases the signature of the AST. The relative frequency of intrusive versus extrusive magmatic events controls the morphology of the ridge crest and appears to remain constant over millennial time scales within the domains we have identified; however, over longer time scales (∼10–25 ka), domain-specific intrusive-to-extrusive ratios do not appear to be fixed in space, resulting in a fairly consistent volcanic accretion over the length scale of the second-order ridge segment between 9°N and 10°N.
  • Technical Report
    NDSF technical operations via telecommunications
    (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 2017-12) Howland, Jonathan C. ; Peligian, Willis ; Soule, Samuel A.
    In 2015, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) commissioned an external study concerning the use of modern telecommunications and telepresence technologies in the potential reduction of manpower in National Deep Submergence Operations. That study has been completed, and the final report is attached as Appendix A.
  • Article
    Segmentation and eruptive activity along the East Pacific Rise at 16°N, in relation with the nearby Mathematician hotspot
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-11-26) Le Saout, Morgane ; Deschamps, Anne ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Gente, Pascal
    The 16°N segment of the East Pacific Rise is the most overinflated and shallowest of this fast-spreading ridge, in relation with an important magma flux due to the proximity of the Mathematician hotspot. Here, we analyze the detailed morphology of the axial dome and of the Axial Summit Trough (AST), the lava morphology, and the geometry of fissures and faults, in regard to the attributes of the magma chamber beneath and of the nearby hotspot. The data used are 1 m resolution bathymetry combined with seafloor photos and videos. At the dome summit, the AST is highly segmented by 10 third-order and fourth-order discontinuities over a distance of 30 km. Often, two contiguous and synchronous ASTs coexist. Such a configuration implies a wide (1100 m minimum) zone of diking. The existence of contiguous ASTs, their mobility, their general en echelon arrangement accommodating the bow shape of the axial dome toward the hotspot, plus the existence of a second magma lens under the western half of the summit plateau, clearly reflect the influence of the hotspot on the organization of the spreading system. The different ASTs exhibit contrasted widths and depths. We suggest that narrow ASTs reflect an intense volcanic activity that produces eruptions covering the tectonic features and partially filling the ASTs. AST widening and deepening would indicate a decrease in volcanic activity but with continued dike intrusions at the origin of abundant sets of fissures and faults that are not masked by volcanic deposits.
  • Article
    Eruptions at Lone Star geyser, Yellowstone National Park, USA: 2. Constraints on subsurface dynamics
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2014-12-05) Vandemeulebrouck, Jean ; Sohn, Robert A. ; Rudolph, Maxwell L. ; Hurwitz, Shaul ; Manga, Michael ; Johnston, Malcolm J. S. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; McPhee, Darcy ; Glen, Jonathan M. G. ; Karlstrom, Leif ; Murphy, Fred
    We use seismic, tilt, lidar, thermal, and gravity data from 32 consecutive eruption cycles of Lone Star geyser in Yellowstone National Park to identify key subsurface processes throughout the geyser's eruption cycle. Previously, we described measurements and analyses associated with the geyser's erupting jet dynamics. Here we show that seismicity is dominated by hydrothermal tremor (~5–40 Hz) attributed to the nucleation and/or collapse of vapor bubbles. Water discharge during eruption preplay triggers high-amplitude tremor pulses from a back azimuth aligned with the geyser cone, but during the rest of the eruption cycle it is shifted to the east-northeast. Moreover, ~4 min period ground surface displacements recur every 26 ± 8 min and are uncorrelated with the eruption cycle. Based on these observations, we conclude that (1) the dynamical behavior of the geyser is controlled by the thermo-mechanical coupling between the geyser conduit and a laterally offset reservoir periodically filled with a highly compressible two-phase mixture, (2) liquid and steam slugs periodically ascend into the shallow crust near the geyser system inducing detectable deformation, (3) eruptions occur when the pressure decrease associated with overflow from geyser conduit during preplay triggers an unstable feedback between vapor generation (cavitation) and mass discharge, and (4) flow choking at a constriction in the conduit arrests the runaway process and increases the saturated vapor pressure in the reservoir by a factor of ~10 during eruptions.
  • Article
    Volcanic eruptions in the deep sea
    (The Oceanography Society, 2012-03) Rubin, Kenneth H. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Chadwick, William W. ; Fornari, Daniel J. ; Clague, David A. ; Embley, Robert W. ; Baker, Edward T. ; Perfit, Michael R. ; Caress, David W. ; Dziak, Robert P.
    Volcanic eruptions are important events in Earth's cycle of magma generation and crustal construction. Over durations of hours to years, eruptions produce new deposits of lava and/or fragmentary ejecta, transfer heat and magmatic volatiles from Earth's interior to the overlying air or seawater, and significantly modify the landscape and perturb local ecosystems. Today and through most of geological history, the greatest number and volume of volcanic eruptions on Earth have occurred in the deep ocean along mid-ocean ridges, near subduction zones, on oceanic plateaus, and on thousands of mid-plate seamounts. However, deep-sea eruptions (> 500 m depth) are much more difficult to detect and observe than subaerial eruptions, so comparatively little is known about them. Great strides have been made in eruption detection, response speed, and observational detail since the first recognition of a deep submarine eruption at a mid-ocean ridge 25 years ago. Studies of ongoing or recent deep submarine eruptions reveal information about their sizes, durations, frequencies, styles, and environmental impacts. Ultimately, magma formation and accumulation in the upper mantle and crust, plus local tectonic stress fields, dictate when, where, and how often submarine eruptions occur, whereas eruption depth, magma composition, conditions of volatile segregation, and tectonic setting determine submarine eruption style.
  • Preprint
    Genesis of active sand-filled polygons in lower and central Beacon Valley, Antarctica
    ( 2009-05) Bockheim, James G. ; Kurz, Mark D. ; Soule, Samuel A. ; Burke, Andrea
    Nonsorted polygons with sand-filled wedges were investigated in lower and central Beacon Valley, Antarctica (77.82ºS, 160.67ºE) using field observations coupled with a 2-m resolution Digital Elevation Model and a high-resolution aerial photograph. A gasoline-powered concrete breaker was employed to expose the sediments of four representative polygon centers and six wedges from geomorphic surfaces containing tills of two different ages. The excavated polygons ranged from 9 to 16 m in diameter (average = 12 m); the sand-filled wedges ranged from 0.2 m to 2.5 m in width (average = 0.9 m). The top of ice-bonded permafrost ranged from 12 to 62 cm in depth (average = 33 cm) in the polygon centers and from 64 to >90 cm (average = >75 cm) in wedges. One active thermal contraction fissure generally was apparent at the surface, but excavations revealed numerous inactive fissures. The wedges contain sand laminations averaging 3 mm in width when viewed in cross section. Although most of the polygons were of the sandwedge type, some contained ice veins up to 1 cm in width and could be classed as composite wedges. Three stages of polygon development were observed, including strongly developed polygons on Taylor II surfaces (ca. 117 ka), moderately developed polygons on Taylor III surfaces (ca. 200 ka), and poorly developed polygons on Taylor IVa and older (ca. >1.1 Ma) surfaces. This retrogressive development may be due to sublimation of ice-bonded bonded permafrost following thermal cracking. With the drop in ice content, the thermal coefficient of expansion is lowered, which causes a reduction in tensile stresses.