Ocean crust

Ocean crust

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Credit: GARY HINCKS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Ocean crust. Cut-away illustration of ocean geology. At top, molten rock rises from the mantle, forming new ocean plate and causing volcanic eruptions. Cooling lava builds up a mid- ocean ridge. Below this, two possible types of ridge are shown. In the Pacific, new plate is formed quickly, leading to a crested ridge (left). Atlantic ridges are slow-spreading with a median valley (right). Below is an enlarged view of the valley, showing layers of rock built up by volcanoes and cooling mantle material. At bottom left is a black smoker, a hydrothermal vent found along all mid-ocean ridges. At bottom right, sedimentary rock forms over the sea floor.

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Keywords: artwork, atlantic, black smoker, chimney, cross-section, cut-away, diagram, earth science, fast, formation, gabbro, geology, hydrothermal, illustration, lavas, mantle, median valley, mid-ocean ridge, ocean crust, ocean floor, pacific, pillow basalt, rift, rock, sea floor, seabed, slow spreading, underwater, vent, zeolite

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