Encyclopedia of Marine Geosciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Jan Harff, Martin Meschede, Sven Petersen, Jörn Thiede

Oceanic Plateaus

  • Andrew C. KerrEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-6644-0_21-1


Oceanic plateaus are large areas of elevated, over-thickened basaltic ocean floor (>5 × 105 km3) which have formed throughout most of Earth’s history, and, unlike most oceanic crust, they are not primarily the result of seafloor spreading processes and melting of ambient upper mantle but rather are widely regarded to have been formed by decompression melting of hot mantle plumes (Kerr, 2014).


The vast erupted and intruded volume of oceanic plateaus means that they are classed as large igneous provinces (LIPs), along with continental flood basalts and volcanic rifted margins. The term large igneous provinces was originally proposed by Coffin and Eldholm ( 1992) as a generic term for igneous provinces with a volume exceeding 0.1 × 10 6 km 2 (see also Coffin and Eldholm 2005). More recently, this definition has been revised by Bryan and Ernst ( 2008), who proposed a classification scheme that includes giant radiating dike swarms and silicic LIPs. Bryan and Ernst’s...


Oceanic Crust Black Shale Mantle Plume Greenstone Belt Large Igneous Province 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Earth and Ocean SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK