NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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 volcanic island peaks are green. A series of underwater ridges cross the Indian Ocean. These are tectonic features of the same type as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in thee Atlantic Ocean. These ridges are where the sea floor splits apart, creating new land. The seafloor topography data were collated in 1997 by Smith and Sandwell. The land topography data was gathered separately, with gorange colours showing relatively low-lying areas, and red colours showing mountains and plateaus.
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