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Holes on the ocean floor

  • Published
    1st Aug, 2022
Context

Sea explorers, deep in the waters along a volcanic ridge in the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, found a pattern of holes in the sand.

About

What has been found?

  • During exploration in the north of the Azores, near Portugal’s mainland, explorers saw about a dozen sets of holes resembling a track of lines on the ocean floor, at a depth of 1.6 miles.
  • There were four more sightings on the Azores Plateau, which is underwater terrain where three tectonic plates meet.
  • Those holes were about 1 mile deep and about 300 miles away from the site of the expedition’s initial discovery.

Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR):

  • The Mid-Atlantic Ridge (MAR) is known as a mid-ocean ridge, an underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonics.
  • It is the result of a divergent plate boundary that runs from 87° N – about 333 km (207 mi) south of the North Pole – to 54 °S, just north of the coast of Antarctica.
  • Like other ocean ridge systems, the MAR developed as a consequence of the divergent motion between the Eurasian and North American, and African and South American Plates.
  • In the North Atlantic, it separates the Eurasian and North American Plates; whereas in the South Atlantic, it separates the African and South American Plates.
  • The peaks of the ridge stand about 3 km (1.86 mi) in height above the ocean floor, and sometimes reach above sea level, forming islands and island groups.
  • The MAR is also part of the longest mountain chain in the world, extending continuously across the oceans floors for a total distance of 40,389 km (25,097 mi).
  • The MAR also has a deep rift valley at is crest which marks the location where the two plates are moving apart.

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