Defining the World

The Earth

What is the mid-Atlantic ridge

We don’t get to appreciate the beauty of this huge mountain range because it’s located at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean (with one exception: Iceland is a part of the ridge). The ridge is a crack between tectonic plates where new ocean floor is being created as magma flows up from under the Earth. As more crust is created, it pushes the older crust further away. The new crust at the ridge piles up to form mountains and then begins to move across the bottom of the ocean. Because the Earth can’t get larger as more crust is created, the crust eventually has nowhere to go except back into the Earth. This is where subduction occurs.


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