Edward T. Baker
Research Scientist Sr. Principal
B. S., Geology, University of Notre Dame, 1967
M. S., Oceanography, University of Washington, 1969
Ph.D., Oceanography, University of Washington, 1973
My research interests over the past 30 years have centered on two primary issues: the creation and thermal evolution of vent fields created by seafloor eruptions and the global pattern of vent field distribution along ridges and island arcs. This work is part of NOAA’s Earth-Ocean Interactions (formally VENTS) program. Data comes primarily from measurements of physical (hydrography and optical) and chemical (oxidation-reduction potential to detect reduced chemical species) tracers that can be used to track hydrothermal discharge through the water column. To address the first issue I have monitored the changes in hydrothermal heat output over several years following the creation or rejuvenation of vent fields following seafloor eruptions. To address the second issue I depend on exploration cruises primarily funded by NOAA, NSF, or foreign colleagues. For the last decade work has been focused along volcanic arcs and the adjacent backarcs in the western Pacific (Kermadec-Tonga and Mariana). To expand the global discovery of seafloor vent sites, I developed a simple Miniature Autonomous Plume Sensor (MAPR) that allows any researcher using any wire lowered to the sea floor—for rock cores, dredges, sidescan sonar—to explore for hydrothermal activity at no cost to the primary cruise objectives. MAPRs have been used on over 70 cruises in every ocean.
Current Research Projects
- Hydrothermal exploration in NE Lau Basin
- Working with InterRidge to assemble a global database of hydrothermal vent site
Beaulieu, S.E., E.T. Baker, C.R. German, and A.Maffei (in press): An authoritative global database for active submarine hydrothermal vent fields. Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst.
Baker, E.T., W.W. Chadwick, Jr., J.P. Cowen, R.P. Dziak, K.H. Rubin, and D.J. Fornari (2012): Hydrothermal discharge during submarine eruptions: The importance of detection, response, and new technology. Oceanography, 25(1), doi: 10.5670/oceanog.2012.11, 128–141.
Baker, E.T., J.E. Lupton, J.A. Resing, T. Baumberger, M.D. Lilley, S.L. Walker, and K.H. Rubin (2011), Unique event plumes from a 2008 eruption on the Northeast Lau Spreading Center, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst. 12, Q0AF02, doi: 10.1029/2011GC003725.
Resing, J.A., K.H. Rubin, R.W. Embley, J.E. Lupton, E. Baker, et al., (2011), An active submarine boninite eruption at West Mata Volcano in the NE Lau Basin, Nature Geosci., 4, doi: 10.1038/NGEO1275, 799–806.
Baker, E.T., F. Martinez, J.A. Resing, S.L. Walker, N. Buck, and M.H. Edwards (2010), Hydrothermal cooling along the Eastern Lau Spreading Center: No evidence for discharge beyond the neovolcanic zone, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 11, Q08004, doi: 10.1029/2010GC003106.
Baker, E. T. (2009), Relationships between hydrothermal activity and axial magma chamber distribution, depth, and melt content, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 10, Q06009, doi:10.1029/2009GC002424.
Baker, E. T., R. M. Haymon, J. A. Resing, S M. White, S. L. Walker, K. C. Macdonald, and K. Nakamura (2008), High-resolution surveys along the hot spot–affected Galápagos Spreading Center: 1. Distribution of hydrothermal activity, Geochem. Geophys. Geosyst., 9, Q09003, doi:10.1029/2008GC002028.
Baker, E.T. (2007), Hydrothermal cooling of midocean ridge axes: Do measured and modeled heat fluxes agree?, Earth Planet. Sci. Lett., 263(1–2), 140–150.
Tolstoy, M., J.P. Cowen, E.T. Baker, et al. (2006), A seafloor spreading event captured by seismometers, Science, 314(5807), 1920–1922.
Affiliate Professor, School of Oceanography, University of Washington