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Abyssal Plains

Deep and extremely flat features found on ocean floor they are the most level places on Earth.


The measurement of ocean depths and the charting of the shape or topography of the ocean floor.


Describes organisms living on or in the ocean bottom.

Continental Margin

The zone of transition between a continent and the adjacent ocean basin floor.

Continental Rise

In regions where trenches do not exist the steep continental slope merges into a more gradual incline this exists.

Continental Shelf

The gentle sloping submerged surface extending from the shoreline.

Continental Slope

This marks the seaward edge of the continental shelf.

Mid-Ocean Ridge

Found near the center of most ocean basins and interconnected system of underwater mountains that have developed on newly formed ocean crust.

Mixed Zone

The area of the surface created by the mixing of water by waves and current and tides.


Includes all animals capable of moving independently of the ocean currents by swimming or other means of propulsion.

Ocean Basin Floor

This lies between the continental margin and mid-ocean ridge.


Includes all organisms - algae, animals, and bacteria - that drift with the ocean currents.


The layer of ocean water between about 300 meters and 1000 meters where there is a rapid change of density with depth.


The total amount of solid material dissolved in water.


The submerged volcanic peaks that dot the ocean floor.


An acronym for sound navigation and ranging, also referred to as echo sounding.


The layer of ocean water between about 300 meters and 1000 meters, where there is a rapid change of temperature with depth.

Turbidity Current

Occasional movements of dense, sediment-rich water down the continental slope.

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