GO-SHIP P02: Musical Volcanoes

Cruising amidst the Musician Seamounts

28 Jun 2022

During our transit to the first CTD station, the ship steamed above the Musician Seamounts, a chain of volcanic undersea mountains and volcanoes dating from the Cretaceous when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. There are many seamounts at the bottom ocean, and not all of them reach the ocean surface to become islands, like the Hawaiian Islands. Fun fact: Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii, is actually the tallest mountain in the world; from its submarine base it is 30,000 feet, which is 1,000 feet taller than Mount Everest.

– Sebastien Bigorre

Sunrise over Honolulu as we approach our final destination. Photo by Sidney Wayne.

Image 1: Nautical chart showing Hawaii and the R/V Revelle track (blue line) starting from Honolulu and going northwest above the Musicians Seamounts, then turning east for CTD stations (blue diamonds) during the early days of the GOSHIP P02 leg 2 oceanographic cruise.

Everyone is gathered as we make our way towards port! Photo by Sidney Wayne

Image 2: Map of seafloor measured by the multibeam sonar system onboard R/V Revelle in June 2022 as the ship was steaming northwest of Hawaii to station 118 of the GOSHIP P02 leg 2 oceanographic cruise. The diameter of the circular feature observed on the seafloor is about 5 km. This seamount rises about 500 m above the seafloor, which is 5,000 m below the ocean surface. The depression near its center indicates it is probably an old volcano.