Another way that we can get access to seamount interiors is through drilling. A new project that I am starting involves making a synthesis of seamount drilling results.

I will spend a year looking at high-resolution color scans of cores from several different seamounts. I'll make profiles of lava morphologies and volcaniclastic material through each core so I can compare the different seamounts.

I'm interested in the porosity structure of seamounts and how the porosity structure changes with age and with height in the volcano. Seamounts are also known to be upflow zones for hydrothermal fluid flow in oceanic crust. In my project I'll measure original pore space (vesicles before filling with alteration minerals) and compare it with current porosity.

Example of a piece of core from an IODP seamount drilling expedition. This is a volcaniclastic breccia.