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Report on Supply Reef (United States) — October 1989

Supply Reef

Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, vol. 14, no. 10 (October 1989)
Managing Editor: Lindsay McClelland.

Supply Reef (United States) Twenty-one hours of volcanic seismicity

Please cite this report as:

Global Volcanism Program, 1989. Report on Supply Reef (United States) (McClelland, L., ed.). Scientific Event Alert Network Bulletin, 14:10. Smithsonian Institution. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.GVP.SEAN198910-284142

Supply Reef

United States

20.13°N, 145.1°E; summit elev. -8 m

All times are local (unless otherwise noted)

An intense episode of apparent submarine volcanism was recorded 21-22 September by an 11-channel hydrophone array on Wake Island, an ocean bottom seismometer off Japan's Boso Peninsula, and the Polynesian Seismic Network's Pomariorio station, on Rangiroa atoll. Strong activity began at about 1100 and peaked between 1230 and 1520, with several hundred distinct events detected before the episode ended abruptly at about 0755 the next morning. During the activity, continuous noise levels in the SOFAR channel remained at least 20 dB above normal ambient values, at frequencies of 5-30 Hz. T-Phase arrivals at the three sites were used to determine a rough location for the activity at 21.9°N, 145.9°E, with a typical potential error of about ± 100 km [but see 14:12]. However, the calculated position is displaced >200 km E of the northern Marianas volcanic arc, falling on the W edge of the trench.

The nearest known submarine volcanic site is . . . Farallon de Pajaros (Uracas) at 20.53°N, 144.90°E. Activity was last reported from the area on 2 September 1985, when a 3-km zone of discolored water near the 1969 eruption site (about 30 km S of Farallon de Pajaros) was observed from an aircraft. Between 2 August and 5 September 1985, the Polynesian Seismic Network's Rangiroa station recorded 109 T-Phase events, with characteristics typical of submarine eruptions, originating from the NW Pacific. However, no other seismic stations were known to have recorded the activity and a precise location was impossible.

Reference. McCreery, C., Oliveria, F., and Walker, D., 1989, Submarine volcano: EOS, v. 70, p. 1466.

Geological Summary. Supply Reef is a conical submarine volcano in the northern Mariana Islands that rises to within 8 m of the surface. The andesitic seamount lies about 10 km NW of the Maug Islands, the emergent summit of a submarine volcano that is joined to Supply Reef by a low saddle at a depth of about 1800 m. Supply Reef was mapped as Quaternary; living corals on the crater rim suggest that it is either dormant or extinct (Corwin, 1971). Several submarine eruptions have been detected by sonar signals originating from points very approximately located at distances of 15-25 km NW.

Information Contacts: D. Walker, Univ of Hawaii; J. Talandier, LDG, Tahiti; Y. Sawada, JMA.