if you travel away from a midocean ridge you will find

if you travel away from a midocean ridge you will find

if you travel away from a midocean ridge you will find

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If you travel away from a midocean ridge you will find ________.

A) increasingly younger rocks increasingly younger rocks

B) more and more earthquakes

C) little evidence of paleomagnetic reversals of the poles

D) increasingly older rocks

E) the seafloor is drifting opposite to your direction of motion



What is the mid-ocean ridge?

The mid-ocean ridge is the most extensive chain of mountains on Earth, stretching nearly 65,000 kilometers (40,390 miles) and with more than 90 percent of the mountain range lying in the deep ocean.

The massive mid-ocean ridge system is a continuous range of underwater volcanoes that wraps around the globe like seams on a baseball, stretching nearly 65,000 kilometers (40,390 miles). The majority of the system is underwater, with an average water depth to the top of the ridge of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).

Mid-ocean ridges occur along divergent plate boundaries, where new ocean floor is created as the Earth’s tectonic plates spread apart. As the plates separate, molten rock rises to the seafloor, producing enormous volcanic eruptions of basalt. The speed of spreading affects the shape of a ridge – slower spreading rates result in steep, irregular topography while faster spreading rates produce much wider profiles and more gentle slopes.

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Two well-studied mid-ocean ridges

Two well-studied mid-ocean ridges within the global system are the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs down the center of the Atlantic Ocean, slowly spreading at a rate of 2 to 5 centimeters (0.8 to 2 inches) per year and forming a rift valley that is about the depth and width of the Grand Canyon. In contrast, the East Pacific Rise spreads fast, at rates of 6 to 16 centimeters (3 to 6 inches) per year. Due to the fast spreading rates, there is no rift valley in the Pacific, just a smooth volcanic summit with a crack along the crest that is much smaller than the Atlantic rift valley.

Despite being such prominent feature on our planet, much of the mid-ocean ridge system remains a mystery. While we have mapped about half of the global mid-ocean ridge in high resolution, less than one percent of the mid-ocean ridge has been explored in detail using submersibles or remotely operated vehicles.

By funding expeditions to spreading centers in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research is helping scientists to draw connections between volcanic, tectonic, hydrothermal, and biological systems in order to better understand the Earth’s remarkable, evolving geography.

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Definition of the Mid-Ocean Ridge

People have always wondered what’s lurking below the water. Movies have played on our fears and lack of knowledge. Creature From the Black LagoonPiranhaJaws, you name it…there’s a particular creepiness that comes with not knowing what’s under there. But in real life, there is something going on under the ocean that is enormous, that is sometimes insanely hot, and that houses strange creatures that live in total darkness. They are mid-ocean ridges, which form where two tectonic plates are spreading apart, which is called seafloor spreading. Tectonic plates are large pieces of the earth’s crust, and they interact in a number of ways. Where they pull apart is called a divergent plate boundary.

Formation of Mid-Ocean Ridges

Because mid-ocean ridges are places where tectonic plates are pulling apart, you might expect to find an incredibly deep canyon, but that’s not exactly the case. As the tectonic plates pull apart, molten rock, or magma, comes up from below to fill in the gaps. In fact, it sometimes pushes from below first, forming a raised area and forcing the more solid rock above to crack apart. The new rock that forms from the molten rock is usually basalt, the most common type of rock on Earth. Where there are weaker areas in the crust along the mid-ocean ridges, the ridge can divide into segments, called fracture zones. To add to the drama, there are often small earthquakes at mid-ocean ridges.

Mid-ocean ridges can spread slowly or quickly. The slow-spreading ridges often crack and crumble, and leave behind ridges and valleys. Fast-spreading mid-ocean ridges, seem to spread with more fluidity and have a smoother look. Slow-spreading and fast-spreading are relative terms. Mid-ocean ridges typically spread less than an inch up to four inches a year.

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Location of Mid-Ocean Ridges

It turns out, global mid-ocean ridges are largest mountain chain on Earth. They wind through more than 40,000 miles of ocean floor making the earth look like it has a series of zippers. About 90% of mid-ocean ridges are underwater, but there is a length through Iceland that is above sea level. Mid-ocean ridges are typically half a mile to six miles wide and over a mile underwater.

Two of the most well-known mid-ocean ridges are the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the East Pacific Rise. As you might guess, most of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is in the Atlantic, and most of the East Pacific Rise is in the Pacific. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is spreading one to two inches a year, and the East Pacific Rise is spreading at two to six inches per year. The mid-Atlantic Ridge begins in the Arctic Ocean extends across Iceland all the way to the bottom of the Atlantic near Africa before dividing into two. Our world is not unlike a ceramic vase that has been cracked in multiple places!



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