First Workshop
Seamount Biogeosciences Network (SBN)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
March 24-25, 2006

Hubert Staudigel (Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, SIO)
Anthony A.P. Koppers (Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, SIO)
Katrina Edwards (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Seamount Catalog
Workshop Registration Closed
List of SBN Workshop Participants
SBN Workshop Program
SBN Abstract Volume in PDF Format
SBN Keynote Presentations
SBN Posters
Google Map to SIO Biological Grade
SIO Campus Blowup Map
Research Coordination Networks (RCNs)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
National Science Foundation
National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
Center for Earth Observations & Applications

Workshop Program Description

Seamounts, submerged isolated mountains in the oceans, are amongst the most exciting research topics and the most poorly understood major features on planet Earth, with the exception of the summits of a very few large ones that can be studied as ocean islands and reefs. After their fiery birth on the ocean floor, some of these volcanoes grow to become the tallest mountains of the Earth, rising to more than 9,000 m from the ocean floor, with summits that may reach higher than 4,000 m above sea level. The volcanic growth of seamounts is accompanied by syn-volcanic collapses, and by subsidence from the loading and thermal cooling of the underlying lithosphere. Seamounts may be formed on oceanic lithosphere of any age, and they travel with their tectonic plate away from their site of origin, often by thousands of miles. Fully-formed seamounts remain intact throughout their (post-volcanic) life, unless they reach above sea level, where they may be eroded by wave action or begin to grow coral reefs that may compete with their subsidence. This makes seamounts the oldest and largest intact mountains on Earth. At the end of their life cycle, seamounts break up, and are finally subducted at convergent plate boundaries. As they sink back into the Earth’s mantle they may contribute to the birth of another type of seamounts in the form of volcanic arc volcanoes.

Seamounts represent exciting research topics for a range of marine sciences. Their load on the underlying lithosphere results in a characteristic gravity anomaly that can be used to determine lithosphere rheology. Their magnetization and magnetic field anomaly may be used to determine the (paleo)latitude they were formed at and consequently the north-south component of plate motion. Age progressions along seamount chains may record absolute plate motion and/or the tectonic state of the lithosphere at the time of their formation. Seamount and ocean island volcano geochemistry reveals the large scale compositional variation in their source regions in the Earth’s mantle. Seamounts also may offer a critical  topography that transfers ocean internal tidal energy into mixing energy for global ocean mixing and nutrient or larval transport. Seamounts are premier fishing grounds and they attract unique biological communities.  Volcanically active seamounts may be hazardous to navigation and cause tsunamis. From their birth to death, seamounts remain in isolation for up to 150 million years, each one of them an experiment in benthic life evolution within distinct geological and oceanographic boundary conditions. Seamounts offer access of benthic life to a range of mid-water conditions, from deep nutrient-rich currents to shallow water. Initial biological studies reveal that seamounts display extreme biodiversity. This offers unique opportunities to identify and explore novel microorganisms, and to study their physiology, biochemistry and genomics in well constrained settings.

Seamount research involves many science disciplines that only rarely communicate, but that have much to gain from interfacing with each other. Overcoming the challenges of interdisciplinary integration are important to successful biological, geochemical, geological and geophysical exploration of this interface between the hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. The goal of the Seamount Biogeosciences Network (SBN) is to bring together all the diverse science disciplines involved in seamount research, to communicate seamount science and to explore innovative ways to network amongst the diverse communities working on seamounts. The networking will address specifically the communication about science issues, the sharing of data across disciplines, and the potential of sharing of shore based and seagoing research logistics.

Who's Who

Steering Committee
Katrina Edwards (WHOI, Chair)
Stan Hart (WHOI)
Marcia McNutt (MBARI)
Debbie Smith (WHOI)
Hubert Staudigel (SIO)
Brad Tebo (OHSU)
Geoffrey Wheat (UAF)



SBN Associated Investigators
Hubert Staudigel (SIO, co-PI)
Anthony A.P. Koppers (SIO, co-PI)
Wolfgang Bach
Katrina Edwards (WHOI)
Dave Emerson (GMU)
Craig Moyer (WWU)
Debbie Smith (WHOI)
Mitch Sogin
Karen Stocks (SDSC)
Brad Tebo (OHSU)
Alexis Templeton (SIO)

Time Table

November 1, 2005
January 10, 2006
January 15, 2006
February 25, 2006
February 28, 2006
March 1, 2006
March 23, 2006
March 24-25, 2006
March 26, 2006
 Online registration starts
Last acceptance of requests for travel assistance
Deadline for abstracts submission
Travel assistance confirmation by E-mail
List of participants posted on this website
Deadline for registration fees
Icebreaker reception
SBN Workshop
Departure day

Workshop Morning Program

Workshop Afternoon Program

Workshop Evening Program

Breakout Session Topics

Breakout sessions address key infrastructure issues in seamount bio-geosciences, in particular, how we can help develop as a network, what tools or features are needed to bridge the gaps between seamount science disciplines, how to facilitate open access to all types of seamount data, and how we can be more successful at explaining the value of studying seamounts, much like how the RIDGE and MARGINS programs made the case for studying the mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones. Such networking has the potential to substantially improve the seamount science funding and seamount science and its contribution to our understanding of how the oceans and solid earth work as a physical, chemical and biological system.

We defined four breakout sessions that will address key topics of seamount science infrastructure. There will be some overlap and feedback between these groups, but all have a defined product.

We will have an amazing depth and breadth of expertise on seamount research at the workshop that we hope to distribute over these sessions, so we are minimally redundant with a maximum of expertise in each one of the groups. Each group has two co-chairs, who will lead the session and report the breakout results to the plenary session at the end. In addition, we have identified a series of panelists who take on the responsibility of disciplinary representation and expertise in these breakout sessions. Non-panelist workshop participants may choose to participate in either one or several of these break-out sessions, but the network is counting on everybody to contribute, voice ideas and share opinions.

Each breakout group will establish a group-mailing list for everybody who wishes to contribute and/or be informed after the workshop. During the final wrap-up plenary session there will be a 15 minute discussion time slot for each breakout group to discuss what has been accomplished, to ask for input from workshop participants who had to attend other sessions, and to plan future activities.

1. Creating a Seamount BioGeoscience Network: Needs and Goals

Lead: K. Edwards, D. Clague
Panelists: E. Winterer, Th. Hansteen, J. O'Connor, G. Wheat, D. Sandwell, W. Lavelle, M. Sogin, B, Tebo, K. Wishner, A. Pile
: Sun City

SBN was funded by NSF to create a network of seamount scientists to foster cross disciplinary communication and to facilitate data exchange through workshops and the establishment of a database and a website. Other options include newsletters, metadata exchanges, online discussion forums, online message boards, organization of seamount related workshops, summer schools on seamount research, student exchange programs, etc. This panel will explore the most appropriate steps that SBN can take to accomplish this NSF mandate, including cost-benefit considerations.

2. Seamount Observatory: Interdisciplinary Needs and Goals

Lead: L. Mullineaux
CEOA Representative
: J. Orcutt
: M. Perfit, A. Kluegel, R. Blake, A. Malahoff, R. Pinkel, A. Templeton, T. Shank, B. Christiansen
Place: Vaughn 100 (fri) and Munk Lab (sat)

A key goal in seamount research includes long term observatories that may focus on the seamount itself, or the ocean around them. Seamount observatories may dovetail with mid-ocean oceanographic observatories or global seismology observatories, for example. CEOA Director J. Orcutt will outline the procedures involved in proposing such an observatory, and offer advice for a successful application. Breakout session participants will outline the key reasons why seamount observatories are needed, which technologies would be required and which path should be taken towards an observatory proposal.

3. White Paper: From Conference Report to Seamount Science Vision

Lead: H. Staudigel
: R. Stern, R. Duncan, W. Bach, C. Mohn, J. Huber, C. Moyer, L. Levin, C.M. Young, M. Clark
: Hubbs Hall

Much can be gained from the publication of a document that describes SBN. This may include a formal white paper submitted to NSF as a glossy science planning document and/or a conference report in a scientific journal. In either case such a document may serve any conference member in placing their own science in a wider context. This breakout session will first decide on the primary purpose of this documents and then break up in subgroups that will outline sections for this document.

4. SBN Database Needs, CyberInfrastructure and the Seamount Catalog

Lead: A. Koppers, K. Stocks
: D. Wright, J. Helly, D. Emerson, B. Bailey, J. Smith
: Board Room

Creating a data network and cyberinfrastructure is one of the major SBN goals. This working group will explore the current state of databases and cyberinfrastructure and explore its long term future development. The main goal of this breakout session is to discuss our NSF mandate on how to use the Seamount Catalog and the web portal to the benefit of the SBN network. Other key issues will focus on metadata and interoperability between existing and planned resources. In addition, new projects and online tools will be proposed and discussed, including the use of bulletin boards, shared bibliographies, cruise planning, etc.

Workshop Registration and Abstracts

Note that the registration is closed.

The Registration Fee is $160 for professionals and $80 for students. This includes both receptions on Thursday and Friday night and the conference dinner on Saturday night. Please pay your registration fee by personal check or US $ bank draft payable to "The Regents of the University of California". Send your check to:

Hubert Staudigel or Patty Keizer
La Jolla CA 92093-0225, USA

Travel Assistance. If you would like to participate in the SBN Workshop but you don't have funding, we will be able to offer some limited travel assistance. Stay tuned for the details, you will find out more in the upcoming Newsletters and at this location no later than December 1. Travel costs will be reimbursed after travel, through the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Deadline for requests is January 10, 2006. Travelers from abroad should note that re-imbursements for any expenses can be made only to travelers entering the US on a B1 visa. This type of visa can be obtained for most nationalities upon entry into the US.

The deadline for abstracts is January 15, 2006. Every participant in the SBN Workshop is invited to contribute an abstract to the conference volume. These abstracts may represent a discussion contribution, a poster, or can be provided by title (to be available for reference in the conference volume only). The SBN Workshop will feature keynote talks with extended discussions, where participants will have the opportunity to make short relevant presentations during the discussion periods. These contributions may include up to two overheads. There will be poster boards that will stay up for the duration of the entire workshop with ample time for discussion during coffee hours and designated poster sessions.

Abstract format. Two pages text, 1000 words or less, with up to two pages of figures, data tables and references. All abstracts must be submitted electronically as Microsoft Word documents or Rich Text Format (RTF) files. In addition, send us electronic copies of your diagrams in either the PS/EPS or Adobe Illustrator format. This will ensure that we can reproduce your diagrams with the best quality in the workshop volume. If you cannot easily produce these formats, please send us the diagrams as high resolution bitmaps (300 to 600 dpi) in the JPEG, TIFF or GIF format. Please follow the AGU abstract format for title, addresses and text.

Hotel Information

For the SBN workshop we made block reservations at two nearby hotels. Hotel La Jolla and Sealodge Hotel are both located in La Jolla and within walking distance from the workshop location. Please make your own reservations by contacting the hotels and refer to the SBN workshop at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to receive special rates. Please note that these block reservations will be released after February 23rd, 2006. Accommodation requests received after that date will be handled as individual reservations by the hotels and discounts offered will be based on availability only.

Hotel La Jolla

7955 La Jolla Shores Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037

Hotel rates:
Garden View: $139 single/double (25 rooms available)
Ocean View: $149 single/double (25 rooms available)
Contact Information:
Phone: 858-551-3671
Fax: 858-459-7649

Note: A free complementary shuttle from the Hotel to Scripps Institution of Oceanography is available.

SeaLodge Hotel

8110 Camino Del Oro
La Jolla, CA 92037

Hotel rates:
Garden View: $179 single/double (15 rooms available)
Contact Information:
Phone: 858-459-8271
Fax: 858-456-5211

Note: The Sealodge Hotel requires a three night minimum stay.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the SBN workshop please contact Patty Keizer.

Office days: Monday through Wednesday
Phone: 858-534-8771