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Seafloor Spreading - Windows to the Universe

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This diagram shows the Americas being separated from the Europe and Africa as the seafloor spreads. Continents are grey in color. Youngest seafloor is red and as seafloor gets older it becomes yellow, green and then blue.
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NOAA/NESDIS/National Geophysical Data Center, Boulder, CO.

Seafloor Spreading

This diagram provides evidence of seafloor spreading by showing the ages of ocean floor in the Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The red colors are the youngest parts of the seafloor, where fresh new crust is formed as lava seeps up from the deep interior of the Earth at spreading ridges. As new crust forms at these spreading ridges, older crust, colored green in the diagram, moves away from the ridge. The blue portions are the oldest regions of the seafloor. They are either next to continents, which also contain very old rocks, or are near areas on Earth where subduction is taking place.

The diagram shows the American continents being separated from the Eurasian and African continents. This is a very fast model of what has happened to the Earth’s plates over the past 250 million years.


Last modified February 4, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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