Ph.D. Program in Oceanography and Global Change at the Canary Islands, Spain
Alba González Vega (Ph.D. Student) "Impact of the hydrothermal emissions of the shallow submarine volcano Tagoro (El Hierro, Canary Islands, Spain) on the physical-chemical and biological properties of the local marine environment"
The submarine volcano Tagoro, which erupted south of El Hierro island in October 2011, still remains active in a degassing stage. Its eruptive process has evolved over the last years into a low-temperature hydrothermal system with diffusive emission of heat, gases, metals, bioavailable iron, and inorganic nutrients. These emissions, which exhibit a stationary cyclic behavior, produce important physical-chemical anomalies localized over the main and secondary craters. The location of Tagoro volcano, 1.8 km from shore and with a depth of the main crater of 127 m, provides a unique opportunity for the monitoring of a shallow hydrothermal system, which have been scarcely studied in comparison to those in deep settings. We intend to characterize the current state of the volcanic activity through a multidisciplinary approach concerning physical, chemical, and biological aspects, including: (i) a study of the emission of inorganic nutrients during both the eruptive and degassing stages from a seven-year time series of nutrient data; (ii) an analysis of the heat flow associated to the volcanic activity of the degassing stage; and (iii) a study of the impact of the hydrothermal emissions on the biological productivity of the area. This study will provide a better understanding of the processes taking place in the only active submarine volcano in the Spanish territory.