Muirfield Seamount

Muirfield Seamount

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Muirfield Seamount

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The Muirfield Seamount is a submarine mountain located in the Indian Ocean approximately 130 kilometres (70 nautical miles) southwest of the Cocos Islands. The Cocos Islands are an Australian territory, and therefore the Muirfield Seamount is within in Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Muirfield Seamount is a submerged archipelago, approximately in diameter and below the surface of the sea. A 1999 biological survey of the seamount performed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) revealed that the area is depauperate.

The Muirfield Seamount was discovered accidentally in 1973 when the cargo ship MV Muirfield (a merchant vessel named after Muirfield, Scotland) was motoring in waters charted at a depth of greater than , when she suddenly struck an unknown object, resulting in extensive damage to her keel.Calder, Nigel. How to Read a Navigational Chart: A Complete Guide to the Symbols, Abbreviations, and Data Displayed on Nautical Charts. International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press, 2002. In 1983, HMAS Moresby, a Royal Australian Navy survey ship, surveyed the area where Muirfield was damaged, and charted in detail this previously unsuspected hazard to navigation.

The dramatic accidental discovery of the Muirfield Seamount is often cited as an example of limitations in the vertical datum accuracy of some offshore areas as represented on nautical charts, especially on small-scale charts. A...
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