Aseismic Ridge

Aseismic Ridge Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. Chain of sea mounts under the ocean
  2. Created by a hotspot under the Earth’s crust

Example of an Aseismic Ridge Landform:

Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain, Pacific Ocean

What is an Aseismic Ridge Landform?

An aseismic ridge is a mountain ridge or chain of seamounts under the ocean. They do not produce seafloor spreading or seismic activity, except in the area of a “hotspot” at one end of the ridge.

How are Aseismic Ridges Formed?

Aseismic ridges are formed by a hotspot in the mantel under the Earth’s crust. As a tectonic plate moves over the hotspot, a series of seamounts can form on the ocean floor over a period of millions of years. This may be in the form of mountains, guyots or undersea plateaus. If they rise high enough, Islands can be created.

How Large is an Aseismic Ridge?

An aseismic ridge can extend for hundreds or thousands of miles.

Where Can an Aseismic Ridge Be Found?

An Aseismic Ridge can be found under the ocean. It may start at a point where there is volcanic activity on an island or seamount on the ocean floor.

Famous Aseismic Ridges and Facts

• Carnegie Ridge, Pacific Ocean
• Cocos Ridge, Pacific Ocean
• Walvis Ridge, South Atlantic Ocean
• Ninetyeast Ridge, Indian Ocean
• Hawaiian-Emperor Seamount Chain, Pacific Ocean

The Carnegie Ridge begins at the Galapagos Islands, which may be a hotspot creating the ridge. It continues east for over 600 miles to a trench off the coast of northern Ecuador, where it is slowly being subducted under the South American tectonic plate. The Cocos Ridge extends from the Galapagos Islands to Central America.

The Cocos Ridge is slowly being subjected under the Caribbean plate that begins just off the coast of Panama. This is causing deformation of the land in Panama and the Caribbean seafloor beyond. Walvis Ridge begins around the islands of Tristan da Cunha, about 180 miles east of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the South Atlantic Ocean. This is considered a hot spot creating the ridge which stretches northeast to the coast of northern Namibia in Africa.

The Ninetyeast Ridge is over 3000 miles long, beginning at a hotspot on the Kerguelen Plateau in the Southern Ocean. Extending northward close to the 90 degree line of longitude, the Ninetyeast Ridge enters the Bengal Bay, hidden under sediment from the Ganges River discharge.

The Hawaiian-Emperor Sea mount Chain stretches northwest from Hawaii for over 3,600 miles, created by a hot spot that is currently active on the Island of Hawaii with the active volcanoes Kilauea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. 22 miles southeast of the island, a new sea mount is currently forming under the ocean, a volcano called Lo`ihi.

Aseismic Ridge definition:

An series of seamounts under the ocean, formed by a hotspot under the Earth’s crust

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