What is a Seamount?

Yesterday, the JOIDES Resolution set sail from Auckland, New Zealand into the Pacific Ocean to drill on the seamounts of the Louisville Seamount trail. This may cause you to ask a lot of questions, one of which probably is: what in the world is a seamount?

If you think about the name "seamount" (sea – mount), you can probably come up with a good guess. Seamounts are mountains in the sea, some of which can tower 9 kilometers above the ocean floor (over 5.5 miles high!). Not only are they mountains, seamounts are also underwater volcanoes made up of lava rocks such as basalt.

In the really deep water where seamounts are found, the pressure of the water above can be so heavy that it is like an elephant is sitting on your head. Because this makes it difficult to explore the deep ocean floor, there is still a lot we do not know about seamounts.  The ability of the JOIDES Resolution to drill deep ocean floor will allow us to bring up the lava rock of seamounts for scientists to study and learn more about how seamounts are created.

To find out more about seamounts and the scientists onboard who are studying them, continue to read this blobfish blog listed under the name "JR junior."


The Blobfish