The Atlantic continues to expand

Some will be reduced, others increased. The oceans behave differently. In fact, they are not as alike as you might think. The Atlantic expands by several centimeters every year. At the same time the Pacific is shrinking. The scientists stated that it is behind these processes.

Seismographs like this one have been used to explain why the Atlantic continues to expand.
Seismographs like this one have been used to explain why the Atlantic continues to expand.
In the background

What is the reason for this slow ocean movement? For the continuous movement of the earth’s tectonic plates. The plates under America move away from those under Europe and Africa.

Scientists have set up 39 seismometers along the Atlantic floor. So they recorded the seismic movements under the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. It is the border of the ridge that tectonically separates America from Europe and Africa.

The team managed to map the material transfer at record depths. Even up to 660 kilometers below the surface.

The results suggest that chemical outcrops are not limited to the depths of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. They can arise in the deepest areas of the transition zone of the mantle. In this way the material of the lower mantle rises to the surface.

The Atlantic is expanding and the Pacific is shrinking.
The Atlantic is expanding and the Pacific is shrinking.
Move the water

The data also show that the processes take place deeper in the earth than previously measured. And not only that. They can continue to occur more frequently. Even in areas of the sea floor that are not marked by obvious areas of plate subduction.

“Given the length and longevity of the mid-ocean ridge system, this implies that convection of the entire mantle may be more frequent than previously thought,” they state in the study. Meanwhile, the Atlantic continues to expand.

It happens in places like the mid-Atlantic. Forces in the ridge play an important role in separating the newly formed panels, ”they concluded. That explains these variations. The study was published in the journal Nature.

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