Sonar image of the ocean floor showing rift valley

Sonar image of the ocean floor showing rift valley

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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 ocean floor showing part of a rift feature in the Galapagos spreading centre, Pacific Ocean. The colours show the depth of the ocean floor, from dark blue (deepest) through light blue, green and yellow to red (shallowest). This 'propagating' rift is a section of a mid-ocean spreading ridge, the constructive margin between tectonic plates which are moving apart. A section of the ridge between two transform faults may become offset from the line of the main ridge. This offset section may then migrate along the direction of the ridge, forming a propagating rift. This image was made using sonar and echo-sounding data.

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Keywords: east pacific rise, ocean floor, propagating, propagating rift, rift, s.pacific, seabed, sonar image, spreading centre, underwater

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