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Vailulu'u Seamount

Vent Sites: 
Nafanua volcanic cone (= Eel City)
North Moat Hydrothermal Complex
South Wall Hydrothermal Complex
"Moat of Death"
Maximum Temperature: 
Location on map: 
National Jurisdiction: 
Maximum or Single Reported Depth (mbsl): 
Minimum Depth (mbsl): 
Tectonic setting: 
Volcano Number (if applicable): 
Host Rock: 
Deposit Type: 
Notes on Vent Field Description: 
current location of Samoan hotspot; just N of Lau Basin (SW Pacific); summit crater is 400-m deep and 2-km wide with new volcanic cone Nafanua in center; "Moat of Death" at base of Nafanua; temperatures up to 81 C in 2005; Staudigel et al. (2004): "The turbidity of the ocean water reaches 1.4 NTU, values that are higher than in any other submarine hydrothermal system."; located just west of the U.S. Rose Atoll Marine National Monument
Notes Relevant to Biology: 
bacterial mats; eels Dysommina rugosa at diffuse low-temp. vents at Nafanua; (
Year and How Discovered (if active, visual confirmation is listed first): 
2005 submersible Pisces V; 2000 plume only
Discovery References (text): 
(plume only) Hart, S. et al. (2000) Vailulu'u undersea volcano: The New Samoa. GEOCHEMISTRY GEOPHYSICS GEOSYSTEMS, VOL. 1, NO. 12, doi:10.1029/2000GC000108
Staudigel, H. et al. (2006) Vailulu'u Seamount, Samoa: Life and death on an active submarine volcano. PNAS 103(17): 6448-6453.
Other References (text): 
Staudigel, H., et al. (2004), Hydrothermal venting at Vailulu'u Seamount: The smoking end of the Samoan chain, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 5, Q02003, doi:10.1029/2003GC000626.