Pillow lavas are the most abundant lava structure on Earth and can be used as a stratigraphic tool to indicate the presence of water and/or ice across geologic time. However, the submarine environment in which they form has proved challenging for research and exploration, thus limiting what we know about this abundant lava structure. This study focuses on the 8°20’ N Seamount Chain, located west of the East Pacific Rise. The purpose of this study is to create a comprehensible and replicable dataset of submarine pillows to compare to subglacial pillows, in order to better understand the environment and conditions in which pillow lava forms. This investigation includes pillow measurements, mapping, structural observations, and emplacement pressure calculations of submarine pillows to compare to previously collected subglacial data. This study concludes that there is an overall pattern of decreasing emplacement pressure with increasing elevation along the 8°20’ N Seamount Chain. However, the size of pillows found along the seamounts showed no correlation to pressure or depth. Future research should include a larger data set of submarine pillows, not limited to those along seamounts, to further the investigation of the relationship between pillow size and pressure.


Pollock, Meagen




Physical Sciences and Mathematics


Pillow Lavas, Submarine, Seamount Chain

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2018 Eve M. Caudill