Sea floor off Oregon. High-definition coloured sonar image of the continental shelf off the Oregon coast, USA. This most detailed mapping of the east Pacific floor off the North American coast was made by ships recording sound echos from the ocean bottom. Colours show depths of the ocean floor: white (near sea level), orange (1000 metres), yellow (2000 m), blue (3000 m). On this continental shelf, seafloor sediments are being piled up in long ridges along the Oregon margin. By a process called subduction, these ridges form as the Juan de Fuca Plate is being overriden and pushed into the Earth by the North American Plate.
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