A Tour of Loihi: The New Summit Pit Crater

       This is a 3-D bathymetric map of the new Pit Crater formed during the 1996 seismic event. The crater is roughly 300m deep and formed in a collapse event. It is located in a site that was previously the high-point on the summit, the Pele's vents area of hydrothermal activity. Notice the very "rough" nature of the topography on the pit's walls. The pinnacles on the western side of the pit are near vertical spires of material left behind during the pit collapse and have been observed from the Pisces V submersible to be quite precarious.
       Since the pit collapse, hydrothermal activity has resumed in the the pit, forming new chimneys of minerals built up at the places where these fluids issue onto the seafloor. Activity is occurring in at least 2 sites, Lohiau vents (the left "x" in the image above and Forbidden vents (the right "x" in the image). Exit emperatures of over 200 °C have been recorded within the Forbidden vents chimney's chimneys. Get more details on the HCV-Loihi Hydrothermal Vents page. This vent had, within the course of a year, spawned new hydrothermal chimneys comprised mostly of Pyrite and Barite (see below). You can view additional images of these hydrothermal minerals at: www.mbari.org/~davisa/Loi.hydrothermal2.html.

Hydrothermal Mineral Images © Courtesy of Alice Davis and Dave Clague, MBARI
(Click on the images to view larger versions)






[The Summit Region | The New Pit | The HUGO site | The South Rift]



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This page created and maintained by Ken Rubin©, krubin@soest.hawaii.edu
Bathymetric image by Nathan Becker
Other credits for this web site.

Last page update on 24 Jul 1998