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New Ocean Crust

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This animation shows a hypothetical sequence of how mid-ocean ridge lava flows can erupt on the seafloor and create new ocean crust at a fast-spreading mid-ocean ridge. It is based on detailed, near-bottom sidescan and multibeam bathymetry collected using an autonomous underwater vehicle and numerous observations of volcanic features made using the Alvin submersible at the East Pacific Rise crest near 9 degrees, 50'N in the Pacific Ocean about 300 miles west of the Mexican coastline. (Dan Fornari, Maurice Tivey,Jack Cook, and Tim Silva, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)