Age of the ocean floor

Age of the ocean floor

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This image is part of the feature Virtual Earth

Credit: NOAA/NGDC/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Age of the ocean floor. Map of the world showing ocean crust topography and satellite views of the land. Colours on the ocean crust represent age. They range from red (newly formed rock), through to orange (40 million years ago), yellow (60 mya), green (100 mya), blue (220 mya) and purple (280 million years old). The regions where crustal plates meet, such as the mid-Atlantic ridge (middle line, running north to south), contain the youngest rocks. The colours reveal how the seafloor spreads outwards as it is replaced by newer material. This process causes the movement of the crustal plate, a process known as plate tectonics.

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Keywords: continent, continental, crust, crustal, crustal age, earth science, earth's crust, fault, geophysics, land, map, marine geology, ocean crust, ocean floor, oceanic, plate, plate tectonics, platetectonics, ridge, sea floor, seafloor spreading, seismic, tectonic, topographic, topography

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