Three Wise Men (volcanoes)

Last updated
Three Wise Men
Height 1,000 m (3,281 ft)-2,000 m (6,562 ft)
Location
Location East Pacific Rise, Pacific Ocean
Geology
Type Seamounts (underwater volcanoes)

The Three Wise Men are a row of three seamounts (underwater volcanoes) located in the Pacific Ocean, on the East Pacific Rise. They are part of a large group of seamounts, collectively known as the Rano Raji. They stand at between 1,000 m (3,281 ft) and 2,000 m (6,562 ft), and are named after the Biblical Magi or the "three wise men". The middle of the three is the tallest and also the flattest at its top. The southern one is similar to its larger neighbor, but slightly shorter. The northern one is the middle of the two, with a large caldera and a circular shape.

Seamount A mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the waters surface

A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface, and thus is not an island, islet or cliff-rock. Seamounts are typically formed from extinct volcanoes that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from the seafloor to 1,000–4,000 m (3,300–13,100 ft) in height. They are defined by oceanographers as independent features that rise to at least 1,000 m (3,281 ft) above the seafloor, characteristically of conical form. The peaks are often found hundreds to thousands of meters below the surface, and are therefore considered to be within the deep sea. During their evolution over geologic time, the largest seamounts may reach the sea surface where wave action erodes the summit to form a flat surface. After they have subsided and sunk below the sea surface such flat-top seamounts are called "guyots" or "tablemounts"

Submarine volcano Underwater vents or fissures in the Earths surface from which magma can erupt

Submarine volcanoes are underwater vents or fissures in the Earth's surface from which magma can erupt. A large number of submarine volcanoes are located near areas of tectonic plate movement, known as mid-ocean ridges. The volcanoes at mid-ocean ridges alone are estimated to account for 75% of the magma output on Earth. Although most submarine volcanoes are located in the depths of seas and oceans, some also exist in shallow water, and these can discharge material into the atmosphere during an eruption. The total number of submarine volcanoes is estimated to be over 1 million, of which some 75,000 rise more than 1 km above the seabed.

Pacific Ocean Ocean between Asia and Australia in the west, the Americas in the east and Antarctica or the Southern Ocean in the south.

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

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Shield volcano Low profile volcano usually formed almost entirely of fluid lava flows

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Lōʻihi Seamount An active submarine volcano off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaii

Lōihi Seamount is an active submarine volcano about 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaii. The top of the seamount is about 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. This seamount is on the flank of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Lōihi, meaning "long" in Hawaiian, is the newest volcano in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, a string of volcanoes that stretches over 5,800 km (3,600 mi) northwest of Lōʻihi. Unlike most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean that make up the active plate margins on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Lōʻihi and the other volcanoes of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are hotspot volcanoes and formed well away from the nearest plate boundary. Volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands arise from the Hawaii hotspot, and as the youngest volcano in the chain, Lōihi is the only Hawaiian volcano in the deep submarine preshield stage of development.

Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain A mostly undersea mountain range in the Pacific Ocean that reaches above sea level in Hawaii.

The Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain is a mostly undersea mountain range in the Pacific Ocean that reaches above sea level in Hawaii. It is composed of the Hawaiian ridge, consisting of the islands of the Hawaiian chain northwest to Kure Atoll, and the Emperor Seamounts: together they form a vast underwater mountain region of islands and intervening seamounts, atolls, shallows, banks and reefs along a line trending southeast to northwest beneath the northern Pacific Ocean. The seamount chain, containing over 80 identified undersea volcanoes, stretches over 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi) from the Aleutian Trench in the far northwest Pacific to the Loʻihi seamount, the youngest volcano in the chain, which lies about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of the Island of Hawaiʻi.

Evolution of Hawaiian volcanoes Processes of growth and erosion of the volcanoes of the Hawaiian islands

The fifteen volcanoes that make up the eight principal islands of Hawaii are the youngest in a chain of more than 129 volcanoes that stretch 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi) across the North Pacific Ocean, called the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. Hawaiʻi's volcanoes rise an average of 4,572 metres (15,000 ft) to reach sea level from their base. The largest, Mauna Loa, is 4,169 metres (13,678 ft) high. As shield volcanoes, they are built by accumulated lava flows, growing a few meters/feet at a time to form a broad and gently sloping shape.

Adams Seamount is a submarine volcano above the Pitcairn hotspot in the central Pacific Ocean about 100 kilometres (62 mi) southwest of Pitcairn Island.

Axial Seamount A submarine volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge west of Oregon

Axial Seamount is a seamount and submarine volcano located on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, approximately 480 km (298 mi) west of Cannon Beach, Oregon. Standing 1,100 m (3,609 ft) high, Axial Seamount is the youngest volcano and current eruptive center of the Cobb–Eickelberg Seamount chain. Located at the center of both a geological hotspot and a mid-ocean ridge, the seamount is geologically complex, and its origins are still poorly understood. Axial Seamount is set on a long, low-lying plateau, with two large rift zones trending 50 km (31 mi) to the northeast and southwest of its center. The volcano features an unusual rectangular caldera, and its flanks are pockmarked by fissures, vents, sheet flows, and pit craters up to 100 m (328 ft) deep; its geology is further complicated by its intersection with several smaller seamounts surrounding it.

Bowie Seamount Submarine volcano in the northeastern Pacific Ocean

Bowie Seamount is a large submarine volcano in the northeastern Pacific Ocean, located 180 km (110 mi) west of Haida Gwaii, British Columbia, Canada.

Hawaii hotspot A volcanic hotspot located near the Hawaiian Islands, in the northern Pacific Ocean

The Hawaii hotspot is a volcanic hotspot located near the namesake Hawaiian Islands, in the northern Pacific Ocean. One of the most well-known and heavily studied hotspots in the world, the Hawaii plume is responsible for the creation of the Hawaiian – Emperor seamount chain, a chain of volcanoes over 5,800 kilometres (3,600 mi) long. Four of these volcanoes are active, two are dormant, and more than 123 are extinct, many having since been ground beneath the waves by erosion as seamounts and atolls. The chain extends from south of the island of Hawaiʻi to the edge of the Aleutian Trench, near the eastern edge of Russia.

Davidson Seamount Underwater volcano off the coast of Central California, southwest of Monterey

Davidson Seamount is a seamount located off the coast of Central California, 80 mi (129 km) southwest of Monterey and 75 mi (121 km) west of San Simeon. At 26 mi (42 km) long and 8 mi (13 km) wide, it is one of the largest known seamounts in the world. From base to crest, the seamount is 7,480 ft (2,280 m) tall, yet its summit is still 4,101 ft (1,250 m) below the sea surface. The seamount is biologically diverse, with 237 species and 27 types of deep-sea coral having been identified.

Detroit Seamount One of the oldest seamounts of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain

Detroit Seamount, which was formed around 76 million years ago, is one of the oldest seamounts of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. It lies near the northernmost end of the chain and is south of Aleutian Islands, at 51°28.80′N167°36′E It is a seamount in the chain, located north of the hinge of the "V" in the image at right.

Koko Guyot A guyot near the southern end of the Emperor seamounts north of the bend in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain.

Koko Guyot is a 48.1-million-year-old guyot, a type of underwater volcano with a flat top, which lies near the southern end of the Emperor seamounts, about 200 km (124 mi) north of the "bend" in the volcanic Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. Pillow lava has been sampled on the north west flank of Koko Seamount, and the oldest dated lava is 40 million years old. Seismic studies indicate that it is built on a 9 km (6 mi) thick portion of the Pacific Plate. The oldest rock from the north side of Koko Seamount is dated at 52.6 and the south side of Koko at 50.4 million years ago. To the southeast of the bend is Kimmei Seamount at 47.9 million years ago and southeast of it, Daikakuji at 46.7.

Patton Seamount Underwater volcano in the Cobb–Eickelberg Seamount chain in the Gulf of Alaska

Patton Seamount is a prominent seamount in the Cobb–Eickelberg Seamount chain in the Gulf of Alaska. Located 166 nmi east of Kodiak Island and reaching to within 160 m (520 ft) of the ocean surface, Patton is one of the largest seamounts in the Cobb–Eickelberg Seamount chain. It was originally created near the coast of Oregon by the Cobb hotspot 33 million years ago, and was moved to its present location by tectonic plate movement. Patton is one of the most well-understood seamounts, as a major expedition using DSV Alvin in 1999 and another in 2002 helped define the scope of the seamount's biological community. Like other large seamounts, Patton acts as an ecological hub for sea life. Dives have revealed that the volcano is heavily encrusted in sea life of various forms, including sea stars, corals, king crabs, demersal rockfish, and other species.

Foundation Seamounts A series of seamounts in the southern Pacific Ocean in a chain which starts at the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Foundation Seamounts are a series of seamounts in the southern Pacific Ocean. Discovered in 1992, these seamounts form a 1,350 kilometres (840 mi) long chain which starts from the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. Some of these seamounts may have once emerged from the ocean.

Macdonald seamount is a seamount in Polynesia, southeast of the Austral Islands. It rises 4,200 metres (13,800 ft) from the seafloor to a depth of about 40 metres (130 ft), but the height of its top appears to vary with volcanic activity. The seamount was discovered in 1967 and has been periodically active with gas release and seismic activity since then. The seamount features a flat top with several subsidiary cones and is located in the neighbourhood of a system of seamounts.

Bounty Seamount is a seamount in the Pacific Ocean, which reaches a depth of 420 metres (1,380 ft) or 450 metres (1,480 ft). It is about 3,950 metres (12,960 ft) high.

Wōdejebato A guyot in the Marshall Islands northwest of the smaller Pikinni Atoll

Wōdejebato is a Cretaceous guyot or tablemount in the northern Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean. Wōdejebato is probably a shield volcano and is connected through a submarine ridge to the smaller Pikinni Atoll 74 kilometres (46 mi) southeast of the guyot; unlike Wōdejebato, Pikinni rises above sea level. The seamount rises for 4,420 metres (14,500 ft) to 1,335 metres (4,380 ft) depth and is formed by basaltic rocks. The name Wōdejebato refers to a sea god of Pikinni.

Ioah Guyot

Ioah Guyot is a seamount in the Pacific Ocean, close to the Marshall Islands. Part of the Magellan Seamounts, it is a shield volcano that has erupted alkali basalt and hawaiite 87 million years ago, but may have continued erupting into the Miocene. During the Cretaceous, reefs developed on the guyot.

Monowai (seamount) volcanic seamount to the north of New Zealand

Monowai is a volcanic seamount to the north of New Zealand. It is formed by a large caldera and a volcanic cone just south-southeast from the caldera that rises to depths of 100 metres (330 ft) but its depth varies with ongoing volcanic activity, including sector collapses and the growth of lava domes. The seamount was discovered at some point between 1877 and 1977 and is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kermadec volcanic arc, with many eruptions since 1977. Volcanic activity is characterised by the emission of gas and discolouration of water, along with seismic activity and a substantial growth rate of the volcano. Ongoing hydrothermal activity has also been observed and hydrothermal vents on Monowai feature a rich fauna.

References

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