2007_SmtCount_GL029874.pdf (401.96 kB)

Global distribution of seamounts from ship-track bathymetry data

Download (401.96 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 30.08.2013 by John Hillier, A.B. Watts
The distribution of submarine volcanoes, or seamounts, reflects melting within the Earth and how the magma generated ascends through the overlying lithosphere. Globally (±60° latitude), we use bathymetry data acquired along 39.5 × 106 km of ship tracks to find 201,055 probable seamounts, an order of magnitude more than previous counts across a wider height-range (0.1 < h < 6.7 km). In the North Pacific, seamounts' spatial distribution substantially reflects ridge-crest conditions, variable on timescales of 10 s of Ma and along-ridge distances of ∼1,000 km, rather than intra-plate hot-spot related volcanic activity. In the Atlantic, volcano numbers decrease, somewhat counter-intuitively, towards Iceland suggesting that abundant under-ridge melt may deter the formation of isolated volcanoes. Neither previously used empirical curve (exponential or power-law) describes the true size-frequency distribution of seamounts. Nevertheless, we predict 39 ± 1 × 103 large seamounts (h > 1 km), implying that ∼24,000 (60%) remain to be discovered.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Geography and Environment

Citation

HILLIER, J.K., WATTS, A.B., 2007. Global distribution of seamounts from ship-track bathymetry data. Geophysical Research Letters, 34 (13), 5pp.

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell © American Geophysical Union

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publication date

2007

Notes

This article was published in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters [© American Geophysical Union].

ISSN

0094-8276

Language

en

Exports

Logo branding

Exports