What are seamounts?

Seamounts are underwater mountains which are defined by oceanographers as independent features of the ocean. Across the globe, there are an estimated 100,000 seamounts that rise to at least 1,000 meters above the seafloor.

Melville Bank, bathymetric map from the 2009 cruise.  
© E. Muller

Due to seamounts' elevated positition in the water column and their interactions with underwater currents, ecosystems developing on these special features of the high seas are remarkably rich.