Oceans and seas

Abyssal hill

June 5, 2012, 7:57 pm
This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to improve this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion.

An abyssal hill is a small elevated landform found only in the deep sea, which topographic feature arises from the ocean basin floor with heights ranging from 10 to over 500 feet and widths from a few hundred feet to a few miles. They are found along the seaward margin of most abyssal plains and originate from the spreading of mid-ocean ridges. As such, they usually form two strips parallel to mid-ocean ridges. They generally decrease in height as one traverses away from the ridges as they gradually become covered with sediment and are replaced by abyssal plains.

The official International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) definition for this undersea feature name is “a tract of small elevations on the deep seafloor.”

See Also

Further Reading

  • Physical Oceanography Index
  • Rhodes W. Fairbridge, editor. The Encyclopedia of Oceanography. Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1966


Baum, S. (2012). Abyssal hill. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/149800


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