Vailulu'u seamount, Samoa

Life and death on an active submarine volcano

Hubert Staudigel, Stanley R. Hart, Adele Pile, Bradley E. Bailey, Edward T. Baker, Sandra Brooke, Douglas P. Connelly, Lisa Haucke, Christopher R. German, Ian Hudson, Daniel Jones, Anthony A P Koppers, Jasper Konter, Ray Lee, Theodore W. Pietsch, Bradley Tebo, Alexis S. Templeton, Robert Zierenberg, Craig M. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Submersible exploration of the Samoan hotspot revealed a new, 300-m-tall, volcanic cone, named Nafanua, in the summit crater of Vailulu'u seamount. Nafanua grew from the 1,000-m-deep crater floor in 2. The Nafanua summit vent area is inhabited by a thriving population of eels (Dysommina rugosa) that feed on midwater shrimp probably concentrated by anticyclonic currents at the volcano summit and rim. The moat and crater floor around the new volcano are littered with dead metazoans that apparently died from exposure to hydrothermal emissions. Acid-tolerant polychaetes (Polynoidae) live in this environment, apparently feeding on bacteria from decaying fish carcasses. Vailulu'u is an unpredictable and very active underwater volcano presenting a potential long-term volcanic hazard. Although eels thrive in hydrothermal vents at the summit of Nafanua, venting elsewhere in the crater causes mass mortality. Paradoxically, the same anticyclonic currents that deliver food to the eels may also concentrate a wide variety of nektonic animals in a death trap of toxic hydrothermal fluids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6448-6453
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume103
Issue number17
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 25 2006

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Samoa
Eels
Hydrothermal Vents
Poisons
Fishes
Bacteria
Food
Acids
Mortality
Population

Keywords

  • Currents
  • Eels
  • Habitats hydrothermal
  • Vents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

Cite this

Staudigel, H., Hart, S. R., Pile, A., Bailey, B. E., Baker, E. T., Brooke, S., ... Young, C. M. (2006). Vailulu'u seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(17), 6448-6453. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0600830103

Vailulu'u seamount, Samoa : Life and death on an active submarine volcano. / Staudigel, Hubert; Hart, Stanley R.; Pile, Adele; Bailey, Bradley E.; Baker, Edward T.; Brooke, Sandra; Connelly, Douglas P.; Haucke, Lisa; German, Christopher R.; Hudson, Ian; Jones, Daniel; Koppers, Anthony A P; Konter, Jasper; Lee, Ray; Pietsch, Theodore W.; Tebo, Bradley; Templeton, Alexis S.; Zierenberg, Robert; Young, Craig M.

In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 103, No. 17, 25.04.2006, p. 6448-6453.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Staudigel, H, Hart, SR, Pile, A, Bailey, BE, Baker, ET, Brooke, S, Connelly, DP, Haucke, L, German, CR, Hudson, I, Jones, D, Koppers, AAP, Konter, J, Lee, R, Pietsch, TW, Tebo, B, Templeton, AS, Zierenberg, R & Young, CM 2006, 'Vailulu'u seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 103, no. 17, pp. 6448-6453. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0600830103
Staudigel, Hubert ; Hart, Stanley R. ; Pile, Adele ; Bailey, Bradley E. ; Baker, Edward T. ; Brooke, Sandra ; Connelly, Douglas P. ; Haucke, Lisa ; German, Christopher R. ; Hudson, Ian ; Jones, Daniel ; Koppers, Anthony A P ; Konter, Jasper ; Lee, Ray ; Pietsch, Theodore W. ; Tebo, Bradley ; Templeton, Alexis S. ; Zierenberg, Robert ; Young, Craig M. / Vailulu'u seamount, Samoa : Life and death on an active submarine volcano. In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2006 ; Vol. 103, No. 17. pp. 6448-6453.
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