Ocean Floor Configuration - QS Study
QS Study

Ocean Floor Configuration

The ocean floor may be segmented into three major divisions based on the depth as well as the forms of relief. These divisions are continental margins, deep-sea basins and mid-ocean ridges.

Continental Margins

These form the transition between continental shores and deep-sea basins. They include continental shelf, continental slope, continental rise, and deep-oceanic trenches. Of these, the deep-sea trenches are the areas which are of considerable interest in so far as the distribution of oceans and continents is concerned.

Abyssal Plains

These are extensive plains that lie between the continental margins and mid-oceanic ridges. The abyssal plains are the areas where the continental sediments that move beyond the margins get deposited.

Mid-Oceanic Ridges

This forms an interconnected chain of mountain system within the ocean. It is the longest mountain-chain on the surface of the earth though submerged under the oceanic waters. It is characterized by a central rift system at the crest, a fractionated plateau and flank zone all along its length. The rift system at the crest is the zone of intense volcanic activity. In the previous chapter, you have been introduced to this type of volcanoes as mid-oceanic volcanoes.