Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 23 Issue 01

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Volume 23, No. 1
Pages 146 - 147

SPOTLIGHT • Graveyard Seamounts

Malcolm R. Clark Ashley A. RowdenIan Wright Mireille Consalvey
First Paragraph

The “Graveyard seamounts” comprise a complex of 28 small volcanic edifices covering about 140 km2 (Figure 1) on the northern flank of the Chatham Rise, an oceanic plateau that extends several hundred kilometers east of New Zealand. The features are associated with widely distributed Late Cenozoic volcanism (Gamble et al. 1986; Hoernle et al., 2006) that created a number of clusters of small intraplate volcanoes in the area. They have various volcanic forms, including cones, summit craters, and lateral dike ridges. Typically, each seamount is between 100 and 400 m high, rising from basal water depths of 1050–1200 m to summit depths of 750–1000 m. Bottom-current flows of 10–20 cm s-1 (Nodder and Northcote, 2001) produce basal scour moats at all the seamounts.


Clark, M.R., A.A. Rowden, I. Wright, and M. Consalvey. 2010. Spotlight 7: Graveyard Seamounts. Oceanography 23(1):146–147, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.79.


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Clark, M.R. 1999. Fisheries for orange roughy (Hoplostethus atlanticus) on seamounts in New Zealand. Oceanologica Acta 22(6):593–602.

Clark, M.R., and A.A. Rowden. 2009. Effect of deepwater trawling on the macro-invertebrate assemblages of seamounts on the Chatham Rise, New Zealand. Deep Sea Research Part I 56:1,540–1,554.

Gamble, J.A., P.A. Morris, and C.J. Adams. 1986. The geology, petrology and geochemistry of Cenozoic volcanic rocks from the Campbell Plateau and Chatham Rise. Pp. 344–365 in Late Cenozoic Volcanism in New Zealand. I.E.M. Smith, ed., Royal Society of New Zealand Bulletin 23. 

Hoernle, K., J.D.L. White, P. van den Bogaard, F. Hauff, D.S. Coombs, R. Werner, C. Timm, D. Garbe-Schonberg, A. Reay, and A.F. Cooper. 2006. Cenozoic intraplate volcanism on New Zealand: Upwelling induced by lithospheric removal. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 248:350–367. 

Nodder, S.D., and L.C. Northcote. 2001. Episodic particulate fluxes at southern temperature mid-latitudes (42°–45°S) in the Subtropical Front region, east of New Zealand. Deep-Sea Research Part I 48:833–864.

Pitcher, T.J., M.R. Clark, T. Morato, and R. Watson. 2010. Seamount fisheries: Do they have a future? Oceanography 23(1):134–144.