mid-ocean ridges

Modern mapping shows a mid-ocean ridge running from the top of the image to the bottom, with two transform faults perpendicular to the ridge. Via GeoMapApp

Walter Pitman and the Smoking Gun of Plate Tectonics

“We had this magic key, this magic magnetic profile,” Pitman said. “We were able to date it and eventually use it not only as a tool that proved continental drift but a tool by which we could actually reconstruct the pattern of drift, that is the relative position of the continents, and the actual timing of the separation of the continents.”

by |April 20, 2016
Sea mounts near the Hawaiian Islands, from the Marine Geoscience Data System. Images of the mountains and light blue areas are derived from sonar readings; the darker blue areas are from satellite readings.

The Floor of the Ocean Comes into Better Focus

The bottom of the ocean just keeps getting better. Or at least more interesting to look at.

by |January 7, 2016
Deploying a CTD and LADCP to explore the ocean floor. (Photo: S. Whelan)

Exploring Rugged Hills & Turbulent Waters 4,500 Meters Down

Aboard a ship at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, scientists are studying how the deepest and coldest waters mix with shallower waters, gaining heat in the process.

by |October 20, 2015
Sea floor spreading chart by Jean-Arthur Olive

Climate Change Leaves Its Mark on the Sea Floor? Maybe Not

A new study in Science questions the provocative idea that climate change may shape the texture of the sea floor. A Snickers bar helps explain what’s really going on.

by |October 15, 2015
The images were taken aboard the R/V Langseth on a 2008 expedition to the East Pacific Rise. (Marjanovic)

Volcanic Plumbing at Mid-Ocean Ridges Goes Far Deeper than Thought

New pictures in the journal Nature Geoscience may help resolve a debate about how new crust forms at mid-ocean ridges where earth’s tectonic plates are slowly pulling apart.

by |October 21, 2014
Maya Tolstoy, earthquakes, oceans

Tides Play a Role in Triggering Undersea Earthquakes

Can shifting tides trigger earthquakes? Research done by Maya Tolstoy, a geophysicist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, suggests they do.

by |June 17, 2013