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continental margins

shallow portions of the ocean floor that are made of continental crust

ocean basin floor

area of deep-ocean floor between the continental margin and the oceanic ridge

mid-ocean ridge

An underwater moutain chain where new ocean floor is formed

Atlantic Ocean

thick layers of undisturbed sediment cover continental margins
very litle volcanic or earthquake activity

Pacific Ocean

crust plunging beneath continental crust- narrow continental margin - results in volcanoes and earthquakes

continental shelf

gently sloping submerged surface extending from shore line contains oil, natural gas, sand, gravel

continental slope

a steep incline leading down from the edge of the continental shelf

submarine canyons

deep, steep-sided valleys cut into the continental slope

turbidity canyons

down slope movements of dense, sediment-laden water
-sand and mud on the continental shelf

continental rise

the gently sloping surface at the base of the continental slope

deep ocean trenches

a deep valley along the ocean floor through which oceanic crust slowly sinks towards the mantle

Mariana Trench

deepest known place on Earth

Ring of Fire

major belt of volcanoes that rims the Pacific Ocean

Abyssal Plains

flat, sediment covered areas in the ocean basin


volcanic peaks that have not reached the ocean surface


flattened seamounts caused by erosion from waves and currents

sea floor spreading

occurs where two lithospheric plates are moving apart

hypothermal vents

zones where heated, mineral-rich water ecapes through cracks in ocean crust

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