When large pieces of pumice (solidified magma from a volcanic eruption) started washing up on Tasmanian beaches last March, University of Tasmania volcanologist, Dr Rebecca Carey (School Physical Sciences, Discipline of Earth Sciences and CODES), knew exactly where they were coming from: a huge underwater volcanic eruption about 1000km north of Auckland.
Dr Carey had been tracking the pumice, which had been travelling the ocean for more than a year. And now Dr Carey will travel to Havre volcano in the Kermadec Arc, New Zealand, the volcano that produced the pumice, aboard US ship R/V Roger Revelle to find out more about the volcanic eruption. Dr. Carey has been appointed as Co-Chief Scientist for the expedition. The key objective of the voyage is to investigate the seafloor deposits of this remarkable submarine eruption that occurred in 2012, which turned out to be the largest event of its type ever recorded and challenges current thinking of the depth limit of explosive silicic eruptions on the seafloor.
Dr. Carey will be joined by a team of researchers and PhD students from five different countries. She is one of two Australians involved in this research sponsored by the US National Science Foundation.
Dr Carey said the one of the most satisfying components of the voyage, which is supported by the Bookend Trust, was its educational outreach aspect.
The expedition will have a website (link below) which will report the activities and findings in real time, by posting photos of everyday life on the ship and videos of the footage the two robots recover.
School children are encouraged to follow our voyage online and they will be able to ask the scientists questions.
To find out more about the voyage, please visit: http://web.whoi.edu/mesh/