Name / Description

Mid-Atlantic Ridge

Type

Currents, Trenches, Ridges, and Streams

Discoverer

0

Sovereignty

International

Additional Notes

submarine mountain range; c.300-600 miles wide. Extends c.10,000 miles from Iceland, c.67�N, to near the Antarctic Circle, c.55�S, and occupying the axis of the Atlantic Ocean, approximately midway bet. the opposite shores of the continents. It is part of the mid-oceanic ridge system which forms a belt more than 37,000 miles long that circles the world. The highest peaks of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge reach more than 13,000 ft above the ocean floor. The ridge, which is a center of volcanic activity and earthquakes, has a 6-19-miles wide trough that is constantly widening and filling with molten rock from the earth's interior. The bilateral movement of oceanic crust away from its source along the mid-oceanic ridge is called sea-floor spreading and results in the continents moving away from each other. A recent discovery has been a site, c.280 miles SW of the Azores, 36�N, described as a 100 sq mile area with more than 100 smoking vents, at 7,700 ft, one of the largest volcanic vent fields in the Atlantic Ocean. First identified by Marie Tharp.