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Sonar image of ocean floor off California, USA

Sonar image of ocean floor off California, USA

E295/0004

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Sea floor off California. High-definition coloured sonar image of the continental shelf off the California coast, USA. This most detailed mapping of the east Pacific floor off the North American coast was made by ships recording sound echos from the ocean bottom. Colours show depths of the ocean floor: white (near sea level), orange (1000 metres), yellow (2000 m), blue (3000 m). On this continental shelf, plateaus and canyons are seen. The Pacific Plate is sliding past the North American Plate along fault lines causing the Cali- fornia continental slope to bulge outwards. The fault lines include the San Andreas Fault.

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