Mid Atlantic Ridge- Ocean floor topography

Mid Atlantic Ridge- Ocean floor topography

Question:-The Mid Atlantic Ridge is a characteristic feature of the Atlantic ocean. What is the mid-Atlantic ridge?

- The Mid Atlantic Ridge, a huge mountain range extending throughout the length of the ocean is a significant feature of the Atlantic floor. It claims the center third of the ocean bed, extending roughly 1,000 miles in breadth. This immense proportion is the Atlantic portion of the world encircling oceanic ridge.

- There are some places where the ridge is seen above sea level forming islands. Iceland is an example that rises from the crest. To the eastern and western part of the ridge lie basins that seemingly present a comparatively even view, however some parts are mountainous while some extremely smooth.

- The mountainous ones are the rocky abyssal hills whereas the latter are the abyssal plains forming upper surface of huge ponds which fill most of the broader depressions. Some ancient volcanoes either single or on basins rise to form sea mounts and rarely islands.

- On approaching continents, the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is left behind and an abyssal plain is encountered which is followed by smooth, undulating surface of the continental rise.

- These broad mounds at the foot of the continents are more than 300 miles in width off northwestern Africa, Argentina, Angola and Eastern Seaboard of the US, becoming very narrow in other areas.

- Weathering over millions of years and riverine sediment deposition have resulted in the creation of the sloping continental rises which are a characteristic of the Atlantic basin and it is beneath these that the largest potential reserves of petroleum, coal and natural gas are found.

- The greatest depths are found at the Lesser Antilles and South Sandwich islands formed from large unstable island arcs. These drop to more than 25000 feet below sea level. Depths more than 13000 feet are seen in the Caribbean basin which has numerous shallow and various deep connections with the open ocean.


- The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is a divergent boundary where crustal plates are separating.

- Several peaks form islands on the ridge. Most of the islands are uninhabited.

- Iceland volcanoes are part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge above a hot spot.
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