Sonar image of ocean floor showing mid-ocean ridge

Sonar image of ocean floor showing mid-ocean ridge


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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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