Seamounts are unique underwater structures:
This is due to their elevation above the sea floor ( >1000m or < 100m depending on the definition). An important number of these structures can be found in the Pacific and have an active role in the ocean. They are indeed hot spots of diversity and biomass, and their increased productivity attracts fish and marine mammals. Seamounts are therefore often subject to fishing effort that impacts benthic habitats. They are also potential targets for mineral exploitation as these environments favour the development of cobalt crusts.
Because of their extension along the bathymetric gradient, seamounts are key systems systems for studying the coupling between benthic and pelagic compartments, and for studying the effects of climate climate change on deep-sea ecosystems. There are currently very few long term studies of the oceanographic or biological dynamics of seamounts and the New Caledonian marine parcs are currently awaiting recommandations for their monitoring. The development of an observatory via ScInObs will be an opportunity to establish and share a monitoring protocol for this type of structure with an integrated multidisciplinary strategy.
For more information about the project please take a look at the following categories: