DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Earth, cutaway artwork. Just right of the cut, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge runs vertically. This is a mostly underwater mountain range that marks the divergence between the Eurasian and African plates and those of North and South America. Spreading along this line is causing the Americas to move away from Europe and Africa at around 5-10 centimetres per year. The plates are solid pieces of crust (brown layer) that float on the semi- liquid part of the underlying upper mantle (orange layer). Convection in the mantle (arrows) causes the plates to move. The convection carries heat from the core (yellow) to the surface.
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