NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Atlantic and Indian ocean topography, mapped by a combination of satellite altimetry and shipboard echo-sounding readings. Colour-coding shows the variation in the depth of the sea floor. Ocean depths are blue, while underwater mountain ranges and peaks are green. The Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs down the centre of the Atlantic Ocean, and similar tectonic features are seen in the Indian Ocean. These ridges are where the sea floor splits apart, creating new land. Most of the seafloor topography data were collated in 1997 by Smith and Sandwell. The land topography data was gathered separately, with orange colours showing relatively low-lying areas, and red colours showing high mountains and plateaus.
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