A new regional compilation of seamount-like oceanic igneous features (SOIFs) in the NE Atlantic points to three distinct oceanic areas of abundant seamount clusters. Seamounts on oceanic crust dated 54–50 Ma are formed on smooth oceanic basement, which resulted from high spreading rates and magmatic productivity enhanced by higher than usual mantle plume activity. Late Eocene–Early Miocene SOIF clusters are located close to newly formed tectonic features on rough oceanic crust in the Irminger, Iceland and Norway basins, reflecting an unstable tectonic regime prone to local readjustments of mid-ocean ridge and fracture zone segments accompanied by extra igneous activity. A SOIF population observed on Mid-Miocene–Present rough oceanic basement in the Greenland and Lofoten basins, and on conjugate Kolbeinsey Ridge flanks, coincides with an increase in spreading rate and magmatic productivity. We suggest that both tectonic/kinematic and magmatic triggers produced Mid-Miocene–Present SOIFs, but the Early Miocene westwards ridge relocation may have played a role in delaying SOIF formation south of the Jan Mayen Fracture Zone. We conclude that Iceland plume episodic activity combined with regional changes in relative plate motion led to local mid-ocean ridge readjustments, which enhanced the likelihood of seamount formation.