Douglas Wiens, the Robert S. Brookings Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and Patrick Shore, staff scientist and lecturer in earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences, will collaborate with eight other institutions on a $4.5 million National Science Foundation study of a volatile volcano and earthquake zone on the sea floor off the Alaskan Peninsula.
Seismologists record unexpected volcanic eruption on Pacific isle
Photo by Patrick ShoreAnatahan eruption yields spectacular images, seismic data trove.Washington University geophysicists were fortunate to observe the May 10 eruption of a long dormant volcano on the uninhabited island Anatahan, part of the U.S.-administered Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas in the western Pacific. A seismograph they deployed there only a few days before the unexpected eruption has captured a trove of important seismic data — a detailed chronology of pre- and post-eruption rumblings. While the team’s primary focus is exploring the tectonic forces in the region, the chance capture of detailed volcanic eruption data may offer new avenues of research, perhaps providing tools to help access volcanic and seismic hazards to the people of the Marianas.