Ocean dominates the surface part of the earth. The richness of the ocean is something experts have been researching for years. The different distribution of each part of the water makes the geological features of each ocean an interesting subject of study.
One of the most interesting parts of an ocean is the oceanic ridge. The oceanic ridge is a connected system of a series of volcanoes on the seafloor. The mid-ocean ridges span 40,000 miles and orbit the Earth. The ocean ridge is the third largest oceanic phenomenon after continental and oceanic basins. Because it is made up of volcanic series, it presents distinct and varied geological features. Here are 20 geological features of oceanic ridges.
1. Formed by fracture zones
Although it surrounds the Earth and forms a long series of oceanic ridges, the oceanic ridge itself does not have a straight, defined line. Instead, the mid-ocean ridges are made up of a series of fault zones that ultimately form the mid-ocean ridge. The ocean ridge fracture zone typically occurs every 55 kilometers.
Rift zones are the result of a weak continent long before the main continent broke apart. The rest of it is the fracture zone. The scattered fracture zones begin to form a pattern and this is how the oceanic ridge came into being. Hence, the oceanic ridge is not a continuous line but a pattern of tectonic plate fracture zones.
2. Almost symmetrical cross-section
The mid-ocean ridges surround the ocean with their long, tortuous rows of seamounts. At each of the crossing lines, it has a nearly symmetrical cross-section. While not overly identical, this pattern appears to be constant. The cross-section may differ between the slow-expanding and fast-expanding comb, but the shape is almost identical.
The most likely explanation is that underwater volcanoes have much the same mechanism that formed them. Undersea volcanism occurs when the tectonic plates collide, trapping magma with volcanic activity in between. The rest of it forms the oceanic ridge. Since the mechanism is similar, the cross-section is also almost symmetrical.
Also read:General characteristics of the coastal ocean
3. Different story, different form
Although the mechanism of formation of a mid-ocean ridge is similar, the history of their persistence will create different forms for each. It could come from the activity of the volcano, the amount of magma, or the location of the rupture.
Oceanic ridges that result from strong collision of plates will be taller, while those that have not have a narrow oceanic ridge shape. The one formed by tectonic activity also has its own distinct speed.
The slow speed oceanic ridge has a different tone than the more active and rapidly expanding one. In addition, the strength of the oceanic crust in the formation of oceanic ridges also influences the shape of oceanic ridges.
4. The Depth of the Oceanic Ridge
The depth of the oceanic ridge is determined by the age of the oceanic crust. The study proves that the deeper the oceanic ridge, the older the age of the oceanic crust. The most logical explanation for this theory is the thermal contraction of the oceanic crust with the upper mantle. Thermal contraction allows the older oceanic crust to have a warmer temperature compared to the upper, which cools the sea somewhat.
The earlier a tectonic collision occurs, the more the oceanic ridge forms before the rest of the mid-oceanic ridge. The activity formed the oceanic ridge before another geological process took place. So the depth of the oceanic ridge is actually correlated with the age of the oceanic crust.
5. Slow speed of propagation
The mid-ocean ridge is one of the oceanic ridges that have a slow propagation velocity. This means that the series of submarine volcano ruptures have a slower pace in forming their pattern. The opposite of the mid-ocean ridge is the East Pacific Rise, which is part of the rapidly expanding oceanic ridge.
It correlates with the crossing of ocean waters. In the past, the oceanic ridge had a faster rate of expansion, but the oceanic basin also existed as a result of tectonic activity. Thus, most of the mid-ocean ridge now belongs to the slow-velocity phenomenon. The one with high scattering speed also tends to have overlapping scattering centers compared to the slower one.
6. Hat Rift Valley
At a slow propagation velocity at the oceanic ridge, the velocity creates a rift valley. The rift valley is located on the ridge as a result of the fault-driven process of mid-ocean ridge formation. At medium speeds, the height of the rift valley is about 200 meters. The height can vary depending on the geological structure and the speed of propagation.
For the rapid rate of propagation, the process creates an axial high at the ridge instead of a rift valley. The slowly expanding sea chain has a rugged topography. While the rapidly expanding East Pacific Rise has smoother flanks than the slower rate of spread. This proves that further geological processes are taking place in the slowly expanding ocean ridge.
7. Flanks parallel to the ridge
The flank consists of several mountains and hills. It expands according to the trend of the peak. Thus, the more complicated the pattern of oceanic ridges, the more the flanks elongate the oceanic crust. The flanks also appear more in the rugged topography than the smoother surface.
Transformation disorders are shifted along the ridge. The rough flanks of the slowly expanding oceanic ridge allow for more varied geological forms to be found. Thus, the slowly expanding mid-ocean ridge has more flanks than the rest. The flanks come in different shapes and sizes, but with similar features that distinguish them from other oceanic ridge features.
8. New oceanic crust formed
New oceanic crust and that belonging to the upper mantle appear at the crests of mid-oceanic ridges. Because of this, many unique geological forms are found on the crest of the oceanic ridge. Most often this happens at the slowly expanding oceanic ridges, where the formation process takes time and, as a result, the released land creates other geological forms.
It is important to note that the oceanic crust, which is part of the upper mantle, is also part of Earth's lithosphere. Therefore, the oceanic ridge plays an important role in the formation of the lithosphere and the geological phenomena (valley, axial high, etc.) created by it. (With reference toCommon hydrodynamic properties of the ocean).
9. Has fresh basaltic lava
Oceanic ridges with active tectonic activity have fresh basaltic lavas. The lavas spread from the oceanic ridge to the sea floor. However, the lavas may not be as obvious as seafloor sediments spread. Yet the heat of the oceanic ridge is greater than any other crust on Earth.
Basaltic lava can reach the surface when more active volcanic activity occurs in the series of mountains on the oceanic ridge. Despite the heat, lava will only erupt at sea level unless there is a volcanic earthquake. Not all volcanic mountains are active and lava may have fully settled. The settled lava will form sedimentary rocks beneath the sea.
10. High amplitude magnetic anomaly
The active volcanic and tectonic movement underlying the oceanic ridge can create a high magnetic amplitude anomaly. The reason for this anomaly is that the Earth's magnetic field magnetizes the lava at the central ridge of the oceanic ridge.
When this phenomenon occurs, the strong magnetism attracts things around it and affects the ocean tides. However, this phenomenon does not occur often and is considered an anomaly. The high magnetic amplitude persists as the Earth's magnetic field returns to its normal course of activity.
Other geological features of oceanic ridges are:
- High probability of a volcanic earthquake on an active mid-ocean ridge
- Diverse relief of marine organisms from sediments
- Basic mid-ocean ridge in the Atlantic Ocean
- There is generally no rift valley in the South Atlantic
- Rugged mountainsides in the Indian Ocean
- Low topographic elevation in the Pacific Ocean mountain range
- Interrupted evolution of the East Pacific Ocean Ridge
- May have overlapping scatter centers
- May contain unidentified biological communities
- May radiate hot springs at various neovolcanic sites
Oceanic ridges are ocean features that are still the subject of interesting discoveries. There may be many unidentified or undiscovered phenomena that will reveal the richest life in the ocean world. Due to some volcanic activity, experts need more advanced and accurate technology to track the activity. Oceanic ridges are just a few of the many oceanic features that can be much more than they appear.
Further research is needed to discover the rest of the suspicious phenomena that may be occurring under the sea. The characteristics listed are only the observable characteristics, the facts of which experts have found out from studies and observations. In fact, there are 20 geological features of oceanic ridges.
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- Unique features of the Arctic Ocean
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