Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


College of Science and Mathematics


Earth and Environmental Studies

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Stefanie A. Brachfeld

Committee Member

Robert S. Prezant

Committee Member

Matthew L. Gorring


Jun Jaegyu volcano, an Antarctic submarine volcano, was dredged in May 2004 for sediment and marine macroinvertebrates. The objectives of this study were to examine the benthic assemblages and biodiversity present on the newly discovered volcano. The volcano is located on the continental shelf of the northeastern Antarctic Peninsula, where recent changes in surface temperature and ice shelf stability have been observed. This volcano was swath-mapped during cruise 01 -07 of the Research Vessel-Ice Breaker Nathaniel B. Palmer. The volcano was studied using a SCUD video camera and a dredge along the flanks and crest. Results indicate a seafloor surface heavily colonized by benthic organisms. The absence of marine life on regions of the volcano may suggest fairly recent lava flows. Alternately, these regions may simply be caused by random, irregular distribution of the benthos. Dredged material was sieved and a total of 171 individuals comprised of 42 species were recovered. Twenty-two rock samples, all slightly weathered and half bearing encrusted organisms, were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES). Except for one conglomerate sample, all are alkali basalts and share similar elemental compositions with fresh, unweathered samples from the volcano. These results can establish a qualitative baseline survey for other northern Antarctic Peninsula volcanoes, and be used to monitor changes in the benthic assemblages and biodiversity as a function of environmental change and environmental health.

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