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Audio Display Prototype: Axial Long Term Seafloor Record

Based on core lessons from the 2015 Axial Seamount Eruption Data Nugget, I created data sonifications and mocked up an audio display prototype, which I have included below. Please note that the Ocean Labs data nugget does not include the graph (included below) that we sonified and developed an audio display for; yet, the graph is important to demonstrate a core lesson that seafloor inflates and deflates over time as a result of volcanic activity. The graph we sonified and created an audio display for comes from the Axial Seamount blog from the Earth-Oceans Interactions Program site.

The audio display has five tracks that span just over six minutes in length. I included the graph of the time-series plot of bottom pressure data of the long term record of seafloor from 1997 through 2021 in the Axial Caldera in the NE Pacific Ocean. This is alongside a playlist of the audio files. The audio display material consists of a narrator, six sonifications, and a few earcons embedded within the sonification mix. To additionally mock up the sound of natural environment bed tracks, I mixed an underwater ambience track beneath the narrator.

Headphones are best for listening.

Graphic that displays time-series plot of the long term record of seafloor from 1997 through 2021 in the Axial Caldera in the NE Pacific Ocean. The 1998, 2011, and 2015 volcanic eruptions are labelled in the graph and two horizontal, red dashed lines mark the 2011 and 2015 inflation threshold. In 2021, the 2011 inflation threshold was breached, but there hasn’t been an eruption yet.


Smith, Leslie M., Lori Garzio. "2015 Axial Seamount Eruption." Data Nuggets. Ocean Data Labs. 2020.

Chadwick, B., and S. Nooner. "Blog to chronicle eruption forecasts at Axial Seamount." PMEL Earth-Ocean Interactions Lab. NOAA.

Learn More

Learn more about data sonification.

Learn more about sound design.

Learn more about the parameters of sound.

by Jon Bellona


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