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Undersea volcano erupted off coast

CORVALLIS — Scientists say an undersea volcano 250 miles off the Oregon Coast erupted in April, just as they predicted five years ago.

Oregon State University geologist Bill Chadwick and Columbia University's Scott Nooner confirmed the eruption in July when a research ship took them to the Axial Seamount volcano and instruments confirmed it had recently erupted, the Corvallis Gazette-Times reported Tuesday.

They used bottom pressure sensors to measure how magma caused the ocean floor to inflate before an eruption and deflate after an eruption, the paper reported.

Comparing measurements taken after the 1998 eruption, Chadwick and Nooner forecast in the 2006 Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research that the volcano would erupt again before 2014.

When Chadwick, Nooner and research colleagues traveled to the area above Axial Seamount, they discovered new lava flows and other indications of eruption. Sensors and other instruments showed the volcano erupted in early April.

"It's remarkable to me since we went out on a limb to see if that sort of forecasting would be possible on the seafloor," Chadwick said Tuesday.

The July expedition was sponsored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.