A sea mount is a submarine volcano that does not reach the ocean's surface. Seamounts are extinct or active volcanoes. When the summit of a seamount reaches the oceans surface it becomes an island. Some seamounts are islands that slipped beneath the ocean's surface after they became extinct.
Seamount summit near Guam with red and green algae, soft corals and topical fish. NOAA
60,000 seamounts in the oceans
There are more than 60,000 seamounts worldwide. Only a few hundred of these volcanoes have been visited and about 1000 have been named. Many of these seamounts are hot spot volcanoes. They form chains of little known underwater volcanoes. The volcanoes grow as an ocean plate moves over a hot spot. Each seamount is active for a period time. Tectonic plate movement causes the volcano to move away from the hot spot and it becomes extinct.
The seafloor of Alaska is dotted with hundreds of seamounts. The chains of volcanoes extend from the Gulf of Alaska along the coast of British Columbia, Washington to Oregon. The youngest seamounts are off the coast of Oregon and become progressively older as you move northward toward the Gulf of Alaska.
The Axial Seamount
The Axial Seamount, is an active volcano that is presently over a hot spot off the Oregon and Washington coast. Scientists studying the volcano find it teeming with life. Many of the life forms seem to have adapted to conditions on the seamount and live their entire lives around the volcano.
What Causes Tsunamis Today we know that tsunamis are naturally generated waves. Find out how and why they form.
Mid Atlantic Ridge The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a mountain range that runs down the center of the Atlantic Ocean through Iceland.
Ocean Trenches Ocean trenches are found all around the Pacific Ring of Fire. Find out how and why they develop.
Sea mount There are more than 60,000 sea mounts located in the world's oceans.
Oceanic Zones Find out about the four major zones where plants and animals live in the ocean.
Ocean Facts Discover what causes tsunamis, where ocean trenches are located and how the Mid-Atlantic Ridge was discovered.
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