Ocean bottom viewing is now increasing rapidly and we can expect an excellent view in the next twenty years or so. Yet we already have a surprise. The ocean floor is peppered with volcanoes that are not so apparent in continental geology. The instant take home is that the handful we see are the scant above water reps of a massive population. The sea floor turns out to be hugely active.
That actually put a niggling question sitting there in the back of my mind to rest. The process is ongoing, and very active and extremely common. We have just seen too little of it.
It also explains the well adapted sea mount wildlife. The next locale was really close.
Satellites detect 'thousands' of new ocean-bottom mountains
Interpolation of ocean-floor shape by satellite
- Most ocean maps are derived from satellite altimeter measurements
- Satellites infer ocean-floor features from the shape of the sea surface
- They detect surface height anomalies driven by variations in local gravity
- The gravity from the extra mass of mountains makes the water pile up
- In lower-mass regions, such as over trenches, the sea-surface will dip
- Limited high-resolution ship data has calibrated the satellites' maps