Most seamounts lay in the deep sea, a difficult environment to study, given the high pressure of the water column of several kilometres in height!
The 1800’s marked the first century of deep-sea exploration and the discoveries of seamounts.
Such discoveries were not only made by adventurous naturalists dredging for life on the bottom of deep seas, but also during the oceanic surveys during trans-Atlantic telegraph cable-laying expeditions. Many seamounts were discovered and named by the telegraph cable ships.
The study of seamounts was facilitated by the advent of technologies such as the echo sounder, which permitted extensive tracks of seafloor, the creation of bathymetric maps and the consequent discovery of numerous seamounts.
Technology has enormously advanced within the last 50 years. Since mid 1900’s more advanced forms of bottom profiling, such as multi-beam sounding and satellite technology are used to map the seafloor in detail. Satellites can provide a huge range of data, and shipboard sensors are used to collect information on the aquatic environment. Advanced submersible technology and deep sea camera systems, allow us to explore, observe and describe seamounts and their communities.
The CONDOR project adopts advanced technology to study physical properties, hydrodynamics, biology and ecology of the Condor seamount.
- Koslow T (2007). The silent deep. The discovery, Ecology and Conservation of the Deep Sea.
The University of Chicago Press.
- Pitcher TJ, Morato T, Hart PJB, Clark MR, Haggan N, Santos RS (2007). Seamounts: ecology, fisheries and conservation. Fish and Aquatic Resource Series 12. Blackwell , Oxford.