Photo album:

Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Ocean Worlds

Lōʻihi Seamount is an underwater volcano located around 35 km (or 22 mi) off the southeast coast of Hawai’i Island, on the flank of Mauna Loa. Lōʻihi Seamount shares several characteristics with other ocean worlds because of it’s intra-plate volcanic activity, which makes it a great site to explore. Studying this region will give scientists a better sense of what to expect on other ocean worlds that have hydrothermal vents, such as Saturn’s moon, Enceladus. On the NASA SUBSEA expedition, we visited several active hydrothermal sites to collect fluid and rock samples to learn more about the microbiology and geochemistry of this region. We were excited to discover diverse morphologies formed by microorganisms and basalt rocks. This album highlights some of the interesting seafloor characteristics we investigated around Lōʻihi Seamount!

Album contributed by Science Communication Fellow Mugdha Flores and Lead Science Communication Fellow Jenny Woodman