New England Seamounts

The New England Seamounts are an underwater chain of seamounts in the Atlantic Ocean stretching over 1,000 km from the edge of the Georges Bank off the coast of Massachusetts. The chain consists of over twenty extinct volcanic peaks, many rising over 4,000 m from the seabed.[1][2] It is the longest seamount chain in the North Atlantic and harbours a diverse range of deep sea fauna.[2] Scientists have visited the chain on various occasions to survey the geologic makeup and biota of the region. The chain forms part of the Great Meteor hotspot track, having formed by the movement of the North American Plate over the New England hotspot. The oldest volcanoes that were formed by the same hotspot are northwest of Hudson Bay, Canada. Part of the seamount chain is protected by Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

This seamount range has been known under a variety of different gazetted names, including the Kelvin Seamounts, Kelvin Seamount Group, Kelvin Banks, New England Seamount Chain and the Bermuda-New England Seamount Arc.[3]

New England Seamounts
New England Seamounts is located in North Atlantic
New England Seamounts
The New England Seamounts
NewEngland Seamount Chain
Location
LocationNorth Atlantic Ocean
Coordinates37°24′N 60°00′W / 37.400°N 60.000°WCoordinates: 37°24′N 60°00′W / 37.400°N 60.000°W

Formation

Bear Seamount guyot
Bear Seamount

The New England hotspot, also referred to as the Great Meteor hotspot, formed the White Mountains 124 to 100 million years ago when the North American continent was directly overhead. As the continent drifted to the west, the hotspot gradually moved offshore. On a southeasterly course, the hotspot formed Bear Seamount, the oldest in the chain, about 100 to 103 million years ago. Over the course of millions of years, it continued creating the rest of the seamounts, eventually culminating in the Nashville Seamount about 83 million years ago. As the Atlantic Ocean continued to spread, the hotspot eventually "travelled" further east, forming the Great Meteor Seamount south of the Azores, where it is found today.[4] The New England Seamounts were once at or above sea level. As time passed, however, and the chain moved farther away from the New England hotspot, the crust cooled and contracted, sinking back down to the ocean. The peaks are now all a kilometer or more below the surface.

New England Seamount community
Some animals from the New England Seamounts: gorgonian soft coral, a brisingid sea star, and sponges

Biota

The seamount chain provides a unique habitat for deep sea marine creatures. Coral formations grow on the rocky outcrops, resembling underwater forests that provide shelter for invertebrates and fish.[5] Due to the expenses and difficulties of studying the deep ocean, little was known of the creatures that inhabited the New England Seamounts. In fact, before recent expeditions, there was only one known coral species in the entire chain.[2] Marine biologists caught and classified over 203 species of fish and 214 species of invertebrates on the Bear Seamount in various exploratory studies since 2000.[2] This range of diversity suggests that other seamounts may harbour more unknown macro-organisms. In fact, during one survey, a species of cutthroat eel believed to be found only near Australia was identified.[6] Corals, echinoderms, and crustaceans make up a large portion of the creatures found on the seamount. These organisms act as indicator species, identifying potential problems in the ecosystem.[2]

Seamounts

NE seamounts
Map of the New England Seamounts showing the locations of Bear, Kelvin and Manning seamounts

The New England Seamounts include:

See also

References

  1. ^ "Yale Peabody Museum: Invertebrate Zoology: Deep Sea Fauna from New England Seamounts". Yale Environmental News. Yale University. 2004. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  2. ^ a b c d e Ivar Babb (2005). "The New England Seamounts". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  3. ^ "Marine Gazetteer Placedetails". Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  4. ^ "Geological Origin of the New England Seamount Chain". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. 2005. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  5. ^ Susan Mills (2005). "Seamount Coral Communities". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved 2007-07-31.
  6. ^ Petit, Charles (2004-08-08). "Denizens of the deep: In obscure marine ecosystems, clues to the origins of life". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-07-31.

External links

Balanus Seamount

The Balanus Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Bear Seamount

The Bear Seamount is a guyot or flat-topped underwater volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. It is the oldest of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. It is located inside the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which was proclaimed by President of the United States Barack Obama to protect the seamount's biodiversity.

Buell Seamount

The Buell Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Corner Rise Seamounts

The Corner Rise Seamounts are a chain of extinct submarine volcanoes in the northern Atlantic Ocean east of the New England Seamounts. Both it and the New England Seamounts were formed by the Great Meteor hotspot. It is the shallowest seamount in New England, with some of its nineteen highest peaks only 800–900 m deep.Like most seamounts, they attract fish. Over 175 species have been found there, including splendid alfonsino, black cardinal fish, black scabbardfish, and wreckfish. Trawl fishing during the 1970s and 1980s resulted in approximately 20,000 tons of fish being harvested. As a result, the seamounts were closed to demersal fishing (collecting fish near the bottom of the ocean, as opposed to pelagic fishing, collecting fish near the surface) beginning 1 January 1997. The original ban was supposed to be lifted 31 December 2010, but was extended until 31 December 2020. Almost a decade into the ban, a 2005 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution survey found that two of the peaks, Kükenthal and Yakutat, had been stripped bare of both corals and bottom-dwelling animals. However the survey, which covered both the Corner Rise and New England Seamounts, found 270 species of invertebrates and crustaceans, including 70 species unique to the Corner Rise Seamounts.

Gilliss Seamount

The Gilliss Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Gosnold Seamount

The Gosnold Seamount is a guyot in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Gregg Seamount

The Gregg Seamount is a guyot in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Hodgson Seamount

The Hodgson Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. It was named after Robert David Hodgson, an American geographer and an internationally recognized expert on geographic aspects of the law of the sea and maritime boundaries.

Kelvin Seamount

The Kelvin Seamount is a guyot in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. Kelvin Seamount is also known as Kelvin Bank.

Kiwi Seamount, Atlantic Ocean

The Kiwi Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Manning Seamount

The Manning Seamount is a guyot in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Michael Seamount

The Michael Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Mytilus Seamount

The Mytilus Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. It is located inside the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which was proclaimed by President of the United States Barack Obama to protect the seamount's biodiversity.

Nashville Seamount

The Nashville Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Panulirus Seamount

The Panulirus Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Physalia Seamount

The Physalia Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. It is located inside the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which was proclaimed by President of the United States Barack Obama to protect the seamount's biodiversity.

Picket Seamount

The Picket Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

Retriever Seamount

The Retriever Seamount is a seamount in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot. It is located inside the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which was proclaimed by President of the United States Barack Obama to protect the seamount's biodiversity.

Vogel Seamount

The Vegel Seamount is a guyot in the Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the New England Seamounts, which was active more than 100 million years ago. It was formed when the North American Plate moved over the New England hotspot.

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