What is Seamount?

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Overview:

Recently, two Indian scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), and their team have discovered an active submarine volcano (Crater Seamount) in the Andaman Sea.

About Seamount:

  • It is an underwater mountain formed through volcanic activity.
  • These are recognised as hotspots for marine life. Like volcanoes on land, seamounts can be active, extinct or dormant volcanoes.
  • These are formed near mid-ocean ridges, where the earth’s tectonic plates are moving apart, allowing molten rock to rise to the seafloor.
  • The planet’s two most-studied mid-ocean ridges are the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise.
  • Some seamounts have also been found near intraplate hotspots – regions of heavy volcanic activity within a plate – and oceanic island chains with a volcanic and seismic activity called island arcs.
  • These are formed when molten rock comes up from below the tectonic plate.
  • Significance of seamounts
    • They provide information about the mantle’s composition and how tectonic plates evolve.
    • These are helpful in understanding their influence on how water circulates and absorbs heat and carbon dioxide.
    • They are good places for life because they can cause localised ocean upwelling – the process by which nutrient-rich water from deep within the ocean moves up to the surface.

 

Key facts about Andaman Sea

  • It is a marginal sea of the northeastern Indian Ocean.
  • It is bounded
    • To the north by the Irrawaddy River delta of Myanmar (Burma)
    • To the east by peninsular Myanmar, Thailand, and Malaysia;
    • To the south by the Indonesian island of Sumatra and by the Strait of Malacca; and to the west by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which constitute a union territory of India.

 


Q1) What is a volcano?

A volcano is a geological feature characterized by the eruption of molten rock, ash, and gases from beneath the Earth's surface. Volcanoes can be active, dormant, or extinct, and they play a significant role in shaping the Earth's landscape and geology.

Source: Indian scientists discover active submarine volcano in Andaman sea