Seafloor map

Seafloor map

The boundaries of tectonic plates can be seen on the seafloor.

Geography

Keywords

seabed, sea, ocean, tectonic plate, plate tectonics, continental plate, oceanic crust, lithosphere, asthenosphere, crust, map, nature, geography

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Oceanic crust:
A 5–15 km (3.107–9.321 mi) thick layer; it consist of rock rich in silicates and magnesium. Its density is 3.2 g/cm³ (0.116 lb/in³).

Continental crust:
A 30–65 km (18.642–40.391 mi) thick layer; it consists of rock rich in silicates and aluminum. Its density is 2.7–3 g/cm³ (0.098–0.108 lb/in³).

Litosphere:
The rigid, outermost shell of the Earth. It includes the crust and the topmost, solid layer of the upper mantle. It is about 50–100 km (31.07–62.14 mi) thick and its density is 3.3 g/cm³ (0.119 lb/in³). It is not a contiguous layer: it is made up of moving sections, called tectonic plates, which may be oceanic or continental plates.

Astenosphere:
A molten layer of the upper mantle; about 550–600 km (341.77–372.84 mi) thick. Its density is 3.4–4 g/cm³ (0.123–0.145 lb/in³). Tectonic plates float on this layer.

The seven major tectonic plates:
African plate, Antarctic plate, Eurasian plate, North American plate, South American plate, Indo-Australian plate, Pacific plate.

The seven largest of the smaller plates:
Arabian plate, Caribbean plate, Juan de Fuca plate, Cocos plate, Nazca plate, Philippine plate and Scotia plate.

  • Peru-Chile Trench
  • Cotopaxi (5,897 m or 19,347 ft)
  • Karisimbi (4,507 m or 14,787 ft)
  • Mt. Kenya (5,199 m or 17,057 ft)
  • Kerinci (3,805 m or 12,484 ft)
  • - The rigid, outermost shell of the Earth. It includes the crust and the topmost, solid layer of the upper mantle. It is about 50–100 km (31.07–62.14 mi) thick and its density is 3.3 g/cm³ (0.119 lb/in³). It is not a contiguous layer: it is made up of moving sections, called tectonic plates, which may be oceanic or continental plates.
  • - A molten layer of the upper mantle; about 550–600 km (341.77–372.84 mi) thick. Its density is 3.4–4 g/cm³ (0.123–0.145 lb/in³). Tectonic plates float on this layer.
  • - A 30–65 km (18.642–40.391 mi) thick layer; it consists of rock rich in silicates and aluminum. Its density is 2.7–3 g/cm³ (0.098–0.108 lb/in³).
  • - A 5–15 km (3.107–9.321 mi) thick layer; it consist of rock rich in silicates and magnesium. Its density is 3.2 g/cm³ (0.116 lb/in³).
  • 10 km (6.214 mi)
  • 50 km (31.07 mi)
  • 100 km (62.14 mi)
  • 150 km (93.21 mi)

  • Peru-Chile Trench
  • Cotopaxi (5,897 m or 19,347 ft)
  • Karisimbi (4,507 m or 14,787 ft)
  • Mt. Kenya (5,199 m or 17,057 ft)
  • Kerinci (3,805 m or 12,484 ft)
  • - The rigid, outermost shell of the Earth. It includes the crust and the topmost, solid layer of the upper mantle. It is about 50–100 km (31.07–62.14 mi) thick and its density is 3.3 g/cm³ (0.119 lb/in³). It is not a contiguous layer: it is made up of moving sections, called tectonic plates, which may be oceanic or continental plates.
  • - A molten layer of the upper mantle; about 550–600 km (341.77–372.84 mi) thick. Its density is 3.4–4 g/cm³ (0.123–0.145 lb/in³). Tectonic plates float on this layer.
  • - A 30–65 km (18.642–40.391 mi) thick layer; it consists of rock rich in silicates and aluminum. Its density is 2.7–3 g/cm³ (0.098–0.108 lb/in³).
  • - A 5–15 km (3.107–9.321 mi) thick layer; it consist of rock rich in silicates and magnesium. Its density is 3.2 g/cm³ (0.116 lb/in³).

Narration

More than two-thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans and seas. Today's oceans – the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans – as well as the seas, have been formed over a long geological time.

Ocean floor mapping in the 1960s proved the existence of mid-ocean ridges in all three oceans. These ridges, such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, are usually several thousand meters tall. Trenches can be been found along the edges of continents, which measure five to ten thousand meters in depth. One of these is the Peru-Chile Trench.

Mid-ocean ridges have a valley, known as a rift, running along their spine. Here molten rock, that is, magma, rises from the depths, creating new crust upon cooling down on the inner side of the rift. This process causes mid-ocean ridges to become wider and thus the seafloor spreads. It is not possible, however, for every ocean basin to increase, as our planet’s surface is finite in size. For this reason, one ocean has to shrink so that the other one can expand. Younger ocean basins, like that of the Atlantic Ocean, are expanding, while those of older oceans, such as that of the Pacific Ocean, are shrinking.

At the same time, the floor of the Pacific Ocean is forced under the continents. This is called subduction. Deep-sea trenches form along these subduction zones.

The Earth’s rigid outer shell, the lithosphere, is not a contiguous layer; it is made up of moving sections, called tectonic plates. There are oceanic and continental plates. There are currently seven primary and numerous secondary and tertiary tectonic plates on the Earth's surface.

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