Sonar image of ocean floor showing mid-ocean ridge

Sonar image of ocean floor showing mid-ocean ridge

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This image is part of the feature The World Beneath The Sea

Credit: DR KEN MACDONALD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mid-ocean ridge. Image of the floor of the Pacific Ocean showing an overlapping spreading centre on the East Pacific Rise. The colours show the depth of the ocean floor, from dark blue (deepest) through light blue, green and yellow to red (shallowest). The overlap is at the centre of the frame. Overlapping parts of spreading ridges initially show high volcanic activity which soon decreases due to a fall in magma supply. As a result, changed local spreading patterns cause the ends of the overlaps to curve inward. The overlap may eventually disappear, resulting in a main ridge with a smaller, parallel ridge. The image was made using sonar and echo-sounding data.

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Keywords: e. pacific, e.pacific, east pacific, east pacific rise, echograph, ocean, ocean floor, ocean ridge, pacific, ridge, sea floor, sea floor spreading, seabed, spreading ridge, tectonic ridge, underwater

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