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Name: Michael De Armon
Status: N/A
Age: 6th Grade
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 1999


Question:
I need information about sea floor spreading and how it was discovered and how it works. Thank you.


Replies:
I don't know the full story, but here's an introduction. Seafloor spreading is closely related to the theory of Plate Tectonics. According to this theory, the outer layer of the Earth is broken up into numerous plates. These plates are not stuck in place. They move with respect to one another. Sometimes the plates pull apart from one another. These locations are usually under the ocean floor at seafloor spreading centers. When the plates pull apart, magma comes up from the interior of the Earth and cools to form new rock on the ocean bottom. This process causes new ocean floor to be formed.

Sea floor spreading was discovered in the 1960s by scientists who found that the age of the seafloor increases away from the spreading centers. That is, the seafloor near the spreading centers is relatively young and far away from the spreading centers the seafloor rocks are very old. (The age of the rock is dated from the time the rock cooled from a lava to become solid.) Some ocean floor rocks are well over 100 million years old.

-Grant



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