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Global Seamount Distribution

Seamounts are found in every ocean basin around the world!

These massive underwater volcanoes are typically - but not always - found on the current or historic edges of tectonic plates, or in neighboring areas with high levels of tectonic activity. Scientists estimate that there are more than 10,000 seamounts globally, covering approximately 2.2% of the seafloor. Despite covering such a small percentage of the ocean, these features are highly productive and support high levels of biodiversity in deep-sea habitats that are otherwise often very sparsely populated.


Here are some interesting facts about the global seamount distribution:

  • The United States is home to more seamounts than any other country with 743 (7.3% of the global total) - but only one if its seamounts is adequately protected!
  • The majority of seamounts (58%) occur on the high seas - areas beyond national jurisdiction.
  • Globally, seamounts cover more than three million square miles, about the same size as Brazil.
  • The Pacific Ocean houses the largest number of seamounts (69%), and the Arctic Ocean contains the fewest (0.2%).
  • Seamounts are 300 square miles in size on average, or about the size of New York City.

Join us in protecting fragile seamounts. Please visit our Take Action page to become a Seamountaineer, or Donate to make our oceans healthier for us and future generations.