Encyclopedia of Planetary Landforms

2015 Edition
| Editors: Henrik Hargitai, Ákos Kereszturi


  • Seung-Sep Kim
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-3134-3_550


Seamounts were traditionally defined as isolated underwater active or extinct undersea volcanoes that reach at least 1,000 m in height from base to summit (Menard 1964). However, the term seamount has been modified many times in order to serve the particular needs of a discipline or a specific paper. For geoscientists, seamounts are defined as constructional features with emphasis on formation processes (Staudigel et al. 2010). For biologists, seamounts are important as habitats that are controlled by specific ocean environments, including the shape and summit depth, the type of substrate, and the hydrographic conditions of seamounts. To embrace a broad spectrum of science disciplines that studies seamounts, an inclusive umbrella definition (Staudigel et al. 2010) has been proposed as “any geographically isolated topographic feature on the seafloor taller than 100 m, including ones whose summit regions may temporarily emerge above sea level, but not including features that...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Allain V, Kerandel J-A, Andréfouët S, Magron F, Clark M, Kirby DS, Muller-Karger FE (2008) Enhanced seamount location database for the western and central Pacific Ocean: screening and cross-checking of 20 existing datasets. Deep Sea Res Part I 55(8):1035–1047CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Becker JJ et al (2009) Global bathymetry and elevation data at 30 arc seconds resolution: SRTM30_PLUS. Mar Geod 32(4):355–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Caress DW, Clague DA, Paduan JB, Martin JF, Dreyer BM, Chadwick WW, Denny A, Kelley DS (2012) Repeat bathymetric surveys at 1-metre resolution of lava flows erupted at Axial Seamount in April 2011. Nat Geosci 5(7):483–488CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clague DA, Reynolds J, Davis AS (2000) Near-ridge seamount chains in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. J Geophys Res 105(B7):16541–16561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. de Blasio FV (2011) The aureole of Olympus Mons (Mars) as the compound deposit of submarine landslides. Earth Planet Sci Lett 312:126–139CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Emerson D, Moyer CL (2010) Microbiology of seamounts: common patterns observed in community structure. Oceanography 23(1):148–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hess HH (1946) Drowned ancient islands of the Pacific basin. Am J Sci 244:772–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hillier JK, Watts AB (2007) Global distribution of seamounts from ship-track bathymetry data. Geophys Res Lett 34, L13304. doi:10.1029/2007GL029874CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jordan TH, Menard HW, Smith DK (1983) Density and size distribution of seamounts in the eastern Pacific inferred from wide-beam sounding data. J Geophys Res 88(B12):10508–10518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kim SS (2010) Remote sensing of seamounts: a geophysical study of lithospheric flexure, seamount statistics and intraplate volcanism, Ph.D. thesis, University of Hawai‘i at MānoaGoogle Scholar
  11. Kim S-S, Wessel P (2011) New global seamount census from altimetry-derived gravity data. Geophys J Int 186:615–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Konter JG, Staudigel H, Blichert-Toft J, Hanan BB, Polvé M, Davies GR, Shimizu N, Schiffman P (2009) Geochemical stages at Jasper Seamount and the origin of intraplate volcanoes. Geochem Geophys Geosyst 10(2), Q02001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Koppers AP, Watts AB (2010) Intraplate seamounts as a window into deep earth processes. Oceanography 23(1):42–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lupton JE (1996) A far-field hydrothermal plume from Loihi Seamount. Science 272(5264):976–979CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Menard HW (1964) Marine geology of the Pacific. McGraw-Hill, New York, 271 ppGoogle Scholar
  16. Mitchell NC (2001) Transition from circular to stellate forms of submarine volcanoes. J Geophys Res 106(B2):1987–2003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mouginis-Mark P (1993) The influence of Oceans on Martian volcanism. Lunar Planet Sci Conf XXIV:1021–1022, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  18. Richards MA, Duncan RA, Courtillot VE (1989) Flood basalts and hot-spot tracks: plume heads and tails. Science 246(4926):103–107CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Staudigel H, Clague DA (2010) The geological history of deep-sea volcanoes: biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere interactions. Oceanography 23(1):58–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Staudigel H, Koppers AAP, Lavelle JW, Pitcher TJ, Shank TM (2010) Box 1: defining the word “seamount”. Oceanography 23(1):20–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Weigel W, Grevemeyer I (1999) The Great Meteor seamount: seismic structure of a submerged intraplate volcano. J Geodyn 28:27–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Wessel P (2001) Global distribution of seamounts inferred from gridded Geosat/ERS-1 altimetry. J Geophys Res 106(B9):19,431–19,441CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wessel P, Sandwell DT, Kim S-S (2010) The global seamount census. Oceanography 23(1):24–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yesson C, Clark MR, Taylor M, Rogers AD (2011) The global distribution of seamounts based on 30-second bathymetry data. Deep Sea Res Part I Oceanogr Res Papers 58(4):442–453. doi:10.1016/j.dsr.2011.02.004CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology and Earth Environmental SciencesChungnam National UniversityYuseong-gu, DaejeonSouth Korea