Formation of Mid oceanic Ridge Upsc

Mid Oceanic Ridge

It is made of two chains of mountains that are separated by a large depression. It has peaked as high as 2500m and some even reach above the ocean surface.

Ex: Iceland is part of the mid-ocean ridge.

Mid Oceanic Ridge
Distribution of Mid Ocean Ridges By J M Watson – USGS, U.S Geological Survey;, Public Domain,

Mid oceanic ridge formation

It occurs along the divergent plant boundaries when a new floor is formed, due to earth tectonic plates spread apart, also called seafloor spreading. In the volcanic eruption, molten basalt comes out.

The speed of spreading of molten basalt affects the shape of the ridge. Faster spreading produces wider and more gentle slopes and slower spreading results in irregular steep topography.

Mid oceanic ridge location

Aden Ridge – Part of an active oblique rift system in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and the Arabian Peninsula

Explorer Ridge – mid-ocean ridge west of British Columbia, Canada

Galapagos Spreading Center – an east-west trending mid-ocean ridge east of the eponymous islands between the Nazca and Cocos plates

Gorda Ridge – tectonic spreading centre off the northern coast of California and southern Oregon

Juan de Fuca Ridge – A divergent plate boundary off the coast of the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

South American–Antarctic Ridge – Mid-ocean ridge in the South Atlantic between the South American Plate and the Antarctic Plate

Chile Rise – An oceanic ridge at the tectonic divergent plate boundary between the Nazca and Antarctic plates

East Pacific Rise – A mid-oceanic ridge at a divergent tectonic plate boundary on the floor of the Pacific Ocean

The Gakkel Ridge – A mid-oceanic ridge under the Arctic Ocean between the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate(Mid-Arctic Ridge)

Pacific-Antarctic Ridge – Tectonic plate boundary in the South Pacific Ocean

Central Indian Ridge – A north-south-trending mid-ocean ridge in the western Indian Ocean

Carlsberg Ridge – The northern section of the Central Indian Ridge between the African Plate and the Indo-Australian Plate

Southeast Indian Ridge – A mid-ocean ridge in the southern Indian Ocean

Southwest Indian Ridge – A mid-ocean ridge on the bed of the south-west Indian Ocean and south-east the Atlantic Ocean

Mid-Atlantic Ridge – A divergent tectonic plate boundary that in the North Atlantic separates the Eurasian and North American plates, and in the South Atlantic separates the African and South American plates

Kolbeinsey Ridge – A segment of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge north of Iceland in the Arctic Ocean

Knipovich Ridge – (between Greenland and Spitsbergen)

Reykjanes Ridge -(south of Iceland)

Mid oceanic ridge volcanoes

The most volcanic activity takes place along the mid-ocean ridges. About 75% of all volcanic activity on the planet takes place here.

In the volcanic eruption, the dominant type of lava that erupts out is Basalt and other lava types are Andesite, dacite, and Picrite.

These ridges exhibit active volcanism and seismicity and due to this oceanic crust is in a constant renewed at the Mid oceanic ridge.

Compare rift valley from mid ocean ridge

When a divergent boundary is found between continental plates, it’s a rift valley. When a divergent boundary is found between oceanic plates, it’s a mid-ocean ridge.

The common between the rift valley and the oceanic ridge is they are both similar seismic structures that are were formed by moving tectonic plates.

Also, both are the result of two plates moving away from one another, for rift valley continental plates move away and in the case of Mid-ocean ridge, its oceanic plates move away.


How does the new seafloor form at the mid-ocean ridge?

In the Mid Ocean Ridge, a hot and less dense material comes below the earth’s crust and this material flows sideways and magma comes out. This magma spreads as a floor and cools down to become the new seafloor.

What is the role of the mid-ocean ridge in the movement of lithospheric plates?

In the mid-oceanic ridge, the magma comes out, rises to the seafloor and fills the gap in the lithospheric plates, and moves it.

The youngest crust is found in the mid-ocean ridge?

The youngest crust is found in the mid-ocean ridge is the sea floor.


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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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