World’s longest mountain range is mostly under water

Far beneath the ocean’s floor stretches the world’s longest mountain range. It’s one of many world’s nice mysteries, barely explored past mapping and concerned in all types of seismic exercise.

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The zig zagging mid-ocean ridge (sure, it deserves a catchier, extra majestic identify) zig zags across the globe for greater than 40,000 miles, making it longer than Earth’s circumference. The solely place you possibly can see it with out diving method down is in Iceland. Otherwise, it edges alongside the tectonic plates, with peaks averaging 7,500 toes beneath sea degree.

Related: UK launches world’s largest ocean monitoring system

Scientists didn’t know concerning the mid-ocean ridge till the Fifties. And they’re simply starting to log information. So far, only one% of the submerged ridge has been studied past mapping. Much of what we all know to date comes from UK researchers who studied a small phase of the ocean backside utilizing seismometers. In 2016, the researchers went to Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa and arrange 39 seismometer stations over a 1,000 kilometer large phase of the mid-ocean range. A 12 months later, they returned to retrieve their devices and analyze the info.

What they discovered shocked them. “It was assumed that these gravitational forces, that are knocking down, are contributing to the spreads on the ridges,” stated Matthew Agius, lead creator of a research revealed in Nature in 2021. Instead, they noticed that upwelling, not gravity, could possibly be inflicting the seafloor spreading. “For the primary time, we have now proof of upper temperatures within the mantle transition zone [at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge],” stated Agius, as reported in Eos. “It introduces new proof for the entire research of plate tectonics.”

Like a lot of science, the precise course of for creating this astounding underwater mountain range is nonetheless within the theoretical stage and can possible stay there for some time. The nice depths, excessive price of exploration and risky volcanic surroundings work collectively to guard these deep ocean mysteries.

Via EarthDate, Eos, Grunge

Lead picture through Pexels

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