Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain

Created By:
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Don Reed
Dept. of Geology
San Jose State University
©Copyright 2008
Last Updated on 
Sept. 15, 2008


We have left sight of land and head into the middle of the Pacific Ocean.



North Pacific Seafloor

Use of movie by permission of David Sandwell

About two-thirds of the way across the Pacific we will cross the submerged, northern extension of the Hawaiian islands, called the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. The Hawaiian islands are an above sea level expression of a chain of seamounts, which includes Midway and Wake Islands.

Notice the active volcanic islands that form Hawaii extend to the northwest (upper left corner) and become a chain on underwater seamounts, marking submerged, inactive volcanoes.

Only the big island exhibits active volcanoes on land in this chain, but a new volcanic seamount, Loihi, is being formed at present and at some point in the future will likely rise above the sea.

What is the trench or deep-sea trench near Japan?
Click on name or feature

Seafloor profile across North Pacific