Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Submarine Volcanism
Intraplate seamounts research
Sample collection
Basalt rock being collected by Tiburon's mechanical arm on Davidson Seamount off California.
Photo © 2000 MBARI
Sample collection
Larger version

Sheet flow at President Jackson Seamounts, which have complex, nested calderas.
Photo © 2000 MBARI

Intraplate seamount volcanism is of different types

Many chains of seamounts (submerged mountains) are of hot spot or subduction arc origin. However, some intraplate seamounts have different origins. Near-ridge seamounts erupted near the axes of mid-ocean ridges onto recently derived oceanic crust. In the north-east Pacific, these include the Vance and President Jackson seamounts near the Juan de Fuca and Gorda Ridges, respectively, and the Taney Seamounts off San Francisco, which are no longer associated with an active spreading center (map, 50 kb). Some isolated seamounts and other linear seamount chains have erupted onto much older oceanic crust, and their formation is enigmatic: they do not appear to have erupted as hot spot volcanoes or near-ridge seamounts, and they are not associated with subduction processes. Examples of these include Davidson, Pioneer, and Guide seamounts (map, 118 kb) near the California coast, and the Line Islands chain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Note that our work at Axial Seamount is covered in the Mid-ocean Ridge section.

In these pages: our research on seamounts

Note that more seamounts are discussed in other section of this web.

newA special volume of the journal of The Oceanography Society is focused on seamounts, and is available for free download. Articles to which we contributed:

  • Geological history of deep-sea volcanoes
  • Seamount spotlight: Axial Volcano
  • Seamount spotlight: Loihi Seamount
  • Seamount spotlight: Davidson Seamount
Mountains in the Sea

Related links

Monterey Bay Aquarium's Mission to the Deep exhibit features a mission to map Davidson Seamount

From our group's expeditions to NE Pacific seamounts:

MBARI has mapped many of the near-ridge and continental margin seamounts off of the west coast of North America with high resolution multibeam sonar

| Hot spots | Mid-ocean ridges | Seamounts | Margin |

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Questions? Comments? Please contact Jenny Paduan
Last updated: Dec. 05, 2013