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

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The almost continuous, global mid-ocean ridge system snakes throughout the earth’s surface favor the seams top top a baseball. It is clearly visible ~ above this map of an international topography over and listed below sea level. The ridge system forms the longest and largest mountain variety on Earth, winding its way between the continents. Download picture (jpg, 123 KB).

The huge mid-ocean ridge mechanism is a consistent range that underwater volcanoes that wraps roughly the world like seams ~ above a baseball, stretching almost 65,000 kilometers (40,390 miles). The majority of the mechanism is underwater, with an mean water depth to the height of the ridge of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet).

Mid-ocean ridges take place along divergent plate boundaries, where brand-new ocean floor is developed as the earth tectonic plates spread apart. Together the bowl separate, molten absent rises come the seafloor, creating enormous volcanic eruptions of basalt. The rate of dispersing affects the shape of a ridge – slower spreading rates result in steep, rarely often rare topography while much faster spreading rates develop much broader profiles and an ext gentle slopes.

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Two well-studied mid-ocean ridges within the worldwide system space the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and also the eastern Pacific Rise. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs under the center of the Atlantic Ocean, gradually spreading in ~ a rate of 2 to 5 centimeters (0.8 to 2 inches) every year and forming a rift valley that is about the depth and width of the grand Canyon. In contrast, the eastern Pacific rise spreads fast, at prices of 6 to 16 centimeters (3 to 6 inches) every year. Due to the rapid spreading rates, over there is no rift sink in the Pacific, simply a smooth volcano summit v a crack along the crest the is much smaller than the Atlantic rift valley.

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

By capital expeditions to spreading centers in the Atlantic and the Pacific, the Office of ocean Exploration and also Research is helping researchers to attract connections in between volcanic, tectonic, hydrothermal, and also biological systems in order to far better understand the earth’s remarkable, evolving geography.


For an ext Information

What Is The Mid-Ocean Ridge? – GalAPAGoS: wherein Ridge Meets Hotspot