SEAMOUNTS '09 Workshop
Exploration, Biogeosciences and Fisheries

Scripps Institution of Oceanography
March 19-21, 2009

Hubert Staudigel (Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics, SIO)
Anthony Koppers (College of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, OSU)
Bill Lavelle (NOAA)
Tony Pitcher (University of British Columbia)
Tim Shank (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

Seamount Catalog
SEAMOUNTS '09 Abstract Volume
SEAMOUNTS '09 Keynote Presentations
SBN 2006 Workshop Program
SBN 2006 Abstract Volume
SBN 2006 Keynote Presentations
SBN 2006 Posters
Google Map to SIO Biological Grade
SIO Campus Blowup Map
Map La Jolla Shores Hotel
Research Coordination Networks (RCNs)
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
National Science Foundation

Workshop Program Description

The ocean floor is littered with an enormous number of seamounts whereby most remain unexplored. Tens of thousands of these unexplored geographic features are taller than 2 km and hundreds of thousands are taller than 1 km. Studies to date suggest that seamounts have a volcanic origin and are “hot spots” of biological diversity, present rich fishing grounds, and host volcanic and hydrothermal discharge of spectacular variety. Exploring seamounts offers the potential for many exciting new earth and biological science discoveries.

Prior seamount studies have had a substantive impact on chemical and physical geodynamics, volcanology, geochemistry, geology, physical oceanography, microbiology, ecology, and fisheries. These studies have suggested that cross-disciplinary relationships are complex, yet these remain largely ill-explored, which severely limits our understanding of seamounts as complex biological, chemical and physical systems.

SEAMOUNTS '09 will offer a series of invited keynotes and extended discussions that cover a wide range of seamount sciences from solid earth geodynamics to fisheries, emphasizing exploration and the interfaces between seamount science disciplines. Poster sessions will accommodate a wide range of contributed seamount investigations. Participants will break out in smaller groups during two major breakout sessions and discuss science infrastructure issues that will be presented and discussed in the final plenary session. Current proposals about breakout sessions include (1) the definition of criteria for choosing seamounts for exploration, (2) how seamounts should be explored, (3) how the science community can meaningfully deal with the shear number of unexplored features, (4) seamount cyberinfrastructure including databases and data publication, and (5) how seamount sciences can be better coordinated between different disciplines and between investigators from different countries and their science organizations.

Important Last-Minute Information  

1. The Registration Desk for SEAMOUNTS '09 will be open on Thursday the 19th of March from 3 PM and is located in Munk Building (next to T-29) where the Ice Breaker Reception also takes place. Use this Map (or maps provided in the Important Links panel) for the location of the hotel and the important venues at Scripps.

2. Due to delay in the renovation process at Hotel La Jolla the entire SEAMOUNTS '09 group of participants has been moved to the La Jolla Shores Hotel (see Map for the location of your new hotel). This is another lovely hotel right on the beach and just across the street. Your room rates and duration of stay will not change. You can check-in on a last name basis. Also note that you do not have to change your reservation, this all has been taken care off! The hotel has a complementary shuttle to get you to the workshop location. There will be a seven passenger van available at 7:50 AM and 8:05 AM in front of the hotel on both the 20th and the 21st of March. Additional trips will be made if needed. However, we can definitely recommend the walk on the beach. Just walk into the direction of the pier (see Map) and nearby the pier there are several entries uphill to get off the beach and into Scripps. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know. The address of the new hotel is: La Jolla Shores Hotel, 8110 Camino Del Oro, La Jolla, CA 92037. Website:

3. From the airport you can take a Taxi to La Jolla for $35 to $40. A more affordable option is the Cloud9 Super Shuttle who also offer roundtrip ticket discounts. See their website, also to make (optional) reservations:

4. Poster boards accommodate Poster Sizes up to 48" (high) and 72" (wide).

5. The SEAMOUNTS '09 Abstract Volume (in color) is now online as a downloadable PDF.

Workshop Related Publications

We are planning a series of publications that relate to the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop:

  • A review article for a large audience journal, such as Science Magazine and/or Nature.
  • A special issue in Oceanography, carrying invited keynote reviews and other relevant papers on seamounts.

Both are to be submitted in March 2009 and will published at a very rapid pace. Inquire with Hubert Staudigel, if you wish to contribute. Current Keynote Contributions are:

  • Bill Lavelle and Chris Mohn: Motion and Commotion and Their Consequence at Deep Ocean Seamounts.
  • David Emerson, Andy Fisher and Geoff Wheat: Seamounts as Linked Microbiological and Hydrogeologic Systems.
  • Tony Pitcher, Malcolm Clark, Telmo Morato and Reg Watson: Seamount Fisheries: Do They Have a Future?
  • Timothy Shank and Craig Mohn: Biological Hotspots in the Deep Sea: Enabling the Understanding of Biodiversity, Connectivity, Evolution and Endemism for Seamount Resource Management.
  • Hubert Staudigel and Dave Clague: From Volcanic to Biological Mountains in the Sea: Volcanoes, Deep Sea Volcano Evolution and Their Biospheres.
  • Anthony Koppers and Tony Watts: Seamounts as a Window to Physical and Chemical Geodynamics.

Who's Who

SEAMOUNTS'09 is organized by the Seamount Biogeoscience Network funded through the NSF-BIO Research Coordination Network program. The members and associated investigators of the SBN include:

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



SBN Associated Investigators
Hubert Staudigel (SIO, co-PI)
Anthony A.P. Koppers (OSU, co-PI)
Wolfgang Bach (University Bremen)
Katrina Edwards (USC)
Dave Emerson (Bigelow Lab)
Bill Lavelle (NOAA)
Craig Moyer (WWU)
Tony Pitcher (UBC)
Debbie Smith (NSF)
Mitch Sogin (MBL)
Karen Stocks (SDSC)
Brad Tebo (OHSU)
Alexis Templeton (UC)

Time Table

November 28, 2008
January 15, 2009
February 25, 2009
February 28, 2009
March 1, 2009
March 2, 2009
March 19, 2009
March 20-21, 2009
Last acceptance of requests for travel assistance
Travel assistance confirmation by E-mail
Deadline for abstracts submission
Deadline for registration fees
List of participants posted on this website
Icebreaker reception
SEAMOUNTS '09 Workshop

Workshop Morning Program

Workshop Afternoon Program

Workshop Evening Program

Breakout Session Topics

1. Seamount Exploration 

Lead: Staudigel, Sandwell, Wessel
There are about 200,000 seamounts larger than 1,000 m height that have been identified by satellite-based bathymetry. The vast majority of them have never been visited by any research vessel, arguably identifying them as the last major frontier in geographic, and ecological exploration on planet Earth. It is a daunting task to study such a large number and strategies have to be devised for their exploration. Sub-panels will explore key aspects for guidance for our future seamount exploration:

1a: Capitalizing on classified data. Following a recent submersible accident there are classified efforts under way to map out seamounts globally. Is there a way that civilian research can benefit from these efforts?

1b: Research ships of many nations crisscross the oceans on numerous expeditions addressing a great variety of oceanographic goals and targets. Could we create an international organization/resource that identifies unstudied seamounts and encourages oceanographic vessels with bathymetric mapping equipment to detour slightly from cruise tracks so they can map out unknown seamounts?

1c: Commercial traffic, from shipping to cruise liners to fishing fleets, also traverse the oceans, as do many private yachts. Most of these have at least single-beam echo sounders while others have multibeam. How can we liaise with such groups to encourage their participation? What can we offer in return?

1d: Choosing unknown seamounts for exploration may be guided by a range of scientific criteria that may allow us to narrow down choices to representative examples for particularly relevant seamount types. Criteria for defining choices may come from benthic ecology and fisheries (size, location with respect to currents or global climate zones), geochemistry, geophysics, and marine geology (tectonic and geographic setting) or oceanography (global circulation size, shape). What are the key criteria and can we combine them into a strategy?

1e: Large-scale seamount exploration has to balance the costs of ship time with the detail to which a seamount should be studied. What is the best compromise between numbers of seamounts studied vs. the maximum detail of the data acquired? Should it just be bathymetry and underway geophysics? Should there be at least one dredge, trawl or CTD run?

2. Seamount Cyberinfrastructure 

Lead: Koppers, Stocks
What are the needs for electronic databases in seamount sciences? What is available, what are the strengths and weaknesses of existing efforts, what is still needed and how do we make all the existing efforts interoperable?

3. Ecosystem Evaluation Frameworks (EEF's) for seamounts

Lead: Pitcher, Morato
Quantitative analysis of ecosystem data relies on a consistently defined data framework available for all the seamounts included in the analysis, ideally in a global distribution. In this breakout, we will discuss the feasibility and the optimum requirements for a workable EEF. We hope to engage a wide group of seamount scientists that help identify the most critical parameters that can be pragmatically obtained in the study of seamounts and to explore possible strategies to achieve a broad community buy-in.

4. Seamount Education and Outreach 

Lead: Peach
Seamounts are key global ecosystems and they offer exciting targets for geosciences and ocean science exploration and research. It is important to advance E&O efforts that help learning communities understand the scientific significance of seamount research.

5. International Networking  

Lead: Representatives from countries and organizations
There are many international efforts focusing on seamounts and it could be mutually beneficial to network amongst these efforts. This session will focus on presentations from a wide range of international efforts and to explore ways how these efforts can benefit from each other. In addition, it would be beneficial to coordinate SBN and CenSeam on this level.

Poster Sessions  

Posters will be up the whole time during the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop, and there will be multiple occasions to view them. They also will be presented in one-to-two minute profiles during the introductory session by two or three moderators that will use PowerPoint slides provided by the poster authors.

We hope to make a 15-30 minute movie loop that includes key footage of the latest seamount science. This movie will be played throughout the poster sessions and during receptions. Please consider sending us a CD with (high resolution) movie clips that we can use in this compilation. Please make sure to include a text file or a title page in your movie that includes a title, text about the movie, the videographer and the person who produced the clip. Clips can be anywhere between 30 seconds and five minutes and feel free to submit multiple clips. Please also indicate your wishes about dissemination at the conference or our website. All distributions will be credited to the videographer and producer. We will NOT commercially disseminate anything without asking explicit permission.

Workshop Registration and Abstracts

The Registration Fee is $210 for professionals and $90 for students. This will pay for all conference expenses, and it includes (nearly complete) catering during the conference, from continental breakfasts, to cookies/tea/coffee, lunch and evening receptions and the conference dinner. Please pay your registration fee by (US$) personal check or (US$) bank draft payable to "The Regents of the University of California". Send your check to:

Hubert Staudigel
La Jolla CA 92093-0225, USA

Travel Assistance. If you would like to participate in the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop but you don't have funding, we will be able to offer some limited travel assistance from support of various funding agencies or sponsors. Stay tuned for the details, you will find out more in the upcoming Newsletters and at this location no later than December 1.

The deadline for abstracts is February 28, 2009. Every participant in the SEAMOUNTS '09 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 SEAMOUNTS '09 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 PowerPoint Slides or 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 (1,000 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/PDF 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.

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) For Visitors to the USA

International visitors to the U.S. from Visa Waiver Program countries are now required to apply for Travel Authorization online.
Visit for your application and more information.

Hotel Information

For the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop we made a block reservation at Hotel La Jolla. Hotel La Jolla is located in La Jolla and within walking distance from the workshop location. Please make your own reservations by contacting the hotel and refer to the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to receive the special rate. Please note that these block reservations will be released after February 19th, 2009. 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:
Single Room: $130 per night plus tax (25 rooms available)
Double Room:$140 per night plus tax (25 rooms available)
Contact Information:
Phone: 858-459-0261
Fax: 858-459-7649

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding the SEAMOUNTS '09 workshop please contact Hubert Staudigel or Patty Keizer.