Origin and Morphology of Ocean Basins

  • Eugen Seibold
  • Wolfgang H. Berger


The obvious question to ask about the sea floor is how deep it is and why. The overall depth distribution first became known through the voyage of HMS Challenger (Fig. 1.1). We see that there are two most common dephts: a shallow one near sea level (shelf seas) and a deep one between 1 and 5 km (normal deep ocean). The sea floor connecting shelves and deep ocean is of intermediate depths and makes up the continental slopes and rises.There is a portion of sea floor which is twice as deep as normal: such depths occur only in narrow trenches, mainly in a ring around the Pacific Ocean (Table 2.1).


Oceanic Crust Magnetic Anomaly Ocean Basin Lower Mantle Ocean Floor 
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Further Reading

  1. Cox A (ed) (1973) Plate tectonics and geomagnetics reversals. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  2. LePichon X, Francheteau J, Bonnin J (1973) Plate tectonics. Elsevier, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  3. Uyeda S (1978) The new view of the earth — moving continents and moving oceans. Freeman, San FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson RN (1986) Marine geology — a planet Earth perspective. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. Kearey P, Vine FJ (1990) Global tectonics. Blackwell Scientific, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugen Seibold
    • 1
  • Wolfgang H. Berger
    • 2
  1. 1.Geologisches InstitutUniversität FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.Geological Research DivisionScripps Institution of OceanographyLa JollaUSA

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