Oceans | VOL. 11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

Beneath the Ocean Floor

From the late 1930s, new techniques have opened up in submarine geology. Gravity measurements and geotectonic imagery has allowed accurate mapping of the sea surface and the bottom structure. The ocean floor is marked by huge mountain ranges - the mid-oceanic ridges that form part of a global network, extending for more than 80,000 kilometres (Fig. 1). In places such as Iceland, Ascension and the Galapagos Islands - the ridges rise above sea level. The ocean floor is also cut...

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