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

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Volume 23, No. 1
Pages 206 - 209


BOX • How Large Is the Seamount Biome?

By Peter J. Etnoyer , John Wood, and Thomas C. Shirley 
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Estimates of the number of seamounts occurring worldwide are high and increasing, largely because of improved remote-sensing capabilities. Numbers have grown from a baseline of 15,000 (Wessel, 2001; Marova 2002) to more than 45,000 seamounts worldwide. High-end estimates are in the hundreds of thousands (Hillier and Watts, 2007; Kitchingman et al., 2007; Wessel, 2007; Wessel et al., 2010). So, it is logical to ask: What is the total area of the seamount biome? If the world’s seamount features were assembled into a continuous region, how large would this place be? How would the area of the seamount biome compare to continents, and to other marine biomes? These data would be informative, because terrestrial biomes are fairly well resolved and enumerated (Udvardy, 1975; Woodward, 2003), but marine biomes are less well mapped and understood.


Etnoyer, P.J., J. Wood, and T.C. Shirley. 2010. Box 12: How large is the seamount biome? Oceanography 23(1):206–209, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2010.96.


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