Active underwater volcano discovered in southeastern Alaska

About 850 km (530 miles) north of Vancouver, B.C.

“About two years ago, geologists studying an ocean channel near Ketchikan, Alaska, spotted something unusual,” writes Ed Schoenfeld in the Coast Alaska News.

It was a dormant submerged volcano, about 150 feet below the surface. Experts estimate that it hadn’t erupted for about 10,000 years.

Now, another underwater volcano has been discovered near Dixon Entrance, north of Prince Rupert, B.C. and south of Ketchikan, AK., about 850 km (530 miles) north of Vancouver, B.C.

This one is active, busily pumping out a plume  – actually multiple plumes – of methane gas.

Sounding device screen shot shows the new-found volcano and its plume of methane gas - Image courtesy Canadian Geological Survey
Sounding device screen shot shows the new-found volcano and its plume of methane gas – Image courtesy Canadian Geological Survey


The gas plume is coming from a volcanic vent about 3,000 feet below. It stretches up about two-thirds of the way to the ocean’s surface, rising about 700 meters into the water column.

But there was no fresh lava — or anything else to worry about, said Dr. H. Gary Greene, a marine geologist working with the Sitka Sound Science Center.

Green, along with his Canadian counterpart Dr. Vaughn Barrie (Geological Survey of Canada), found the volcano Sept. 23 during a study of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System.

“This fault acts as a conduit to deeper in the Earth to places where either magma or fluids that are heated by magma or geothermally heated at depth can migrate up through the fault to the surface,” said Greene.

Greene said the study also found other volcanoes nearby, but none were active.

In addition, several other venting volcanoes have been found along the same fault system in recent years off the shores of British Columbia.

So. We now know that there are several active underwater volcanoes – no one knows how many – off the coasts of both Alaska and British Columbia.

We also know that these are areas where geothermal heat “can migrate up through the fault to the surface.”

And we wonder what is heating the seas?

Thanks to George Martinez for these links


15 thoughts on “Active underwater volcano discovered in southeastern Alaska”

  1. What is heating the seas? Surely you aren’t suggesting that these volcanoes are doing the same work as carbon dioxide, are you?

    • /sark off.
      CO2 dosent heat the oceans, never has , never will, and nor will man or his activities.
      /sark on.

  2. Could this vent plus a few more be a contributing factor to the persistent “hot spot” in the NE Pacific?

  3. Those volcanoes are located near where that “blob” of warm water off the coast of British Columbia and Alaska have been present for the last couple of years.

  4. “This one is active, busily pumping out a plume – actually multiple plumes – of methane gas.”

    I wonder how many cows we need to kill to offset that??

    • Probably most of them, if its pumping out methane, its emmiting CO2 as well, as well as lots and lots of heat.
      It would be also worth while to check out what usefull elements, such as rare earths which are being emmitted as well.

  5. well that stuff up the rotting veg matter n methan screams a bit..
    oh no
    greenpees n the others dont let a little TRUTH get in the way of a good fundraiser by/from the scared sheepies.
    silly me

  6. Is this another advance for the ‘settled science’? Was Donald Rumsfeld really talking about climate science in his legendary speech?

  7. I always find it interesting that standard science accepts completely that heat and pressure acting on naturally occurring carbon in the earth’s crust can form diamonds but that all other forms of carbon we find – oil, gas tar etc. – cannot possibly be the result of natural forces of heat and pressure on naturally occurring carbon.

    Oil, gas and tar discoveries are always attributed to “fossil” fuel deposits – primarily based on the discovery of fossils in the deposits.

    But that could be the result of being buried in an already existing mass of carbon deposits – like tar pits for example – rather than a mass of life forms being buried and converted to oil etc.

    Each process seems equally likely.

    Life forms are being trapped in deposits all the time during volcanic activity and many die from the toxic effects of gases. Who can forget Pompeii ?

    Why is it improbable than fossils found in carbon deposits were not the CA– USE of the deposit but a consequence of a catastrophic event or even a series of minor events ?

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