Volcanic edifices on the ocean floor are much more numerous than suggested by available bathymetric charts [Batiza, 1982; Jordan et al., 1983]. More recently, Smith and Jordan  have proposed an exponential model for the distribution of seamounts based on their dimensions. From Sea Beam surveys there would be, on the average, about 4000 volcanic edifices per million oceanic km2, 200 of which would be higher than 1 km. However, for lack of direct observations, the assessment of submarine volcanic activity clearly remains highly conjectural.
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