Ch 11: Ocean Basins, Layers & Continental Shelves

About This Chapter

Take a look at this chapter on ocean layers, basins and continental shelves if you're having a hard time understanding these subjects or need help getting ready for a test. Our lessons and quizzes are designed to make these subjects accessible 24/7 and easy to understand.

Ocean Basins, Layers & Continental Shelves - Chapter Summary

Our engaging chapter outlines continental shelves and ocean basins and layers for your convenient review. You can take your time as you work through subjects including the formation and features of ocean basins and the oceanic ridge system. These lessons are designed to assist you in achieving the following objectives:

  • Outline the formation and distribution of the oceanic ridge system
  • Provide the definition and examples of the mid-ocean range
  • Give facts about the continental slope
  • Describe passive and active continental margins
  • Detail the development of the geologic features of oceans
  • Identify the role of water in the carbon cycle
  • Discuss the characteristics of different ocean zones
  • Define and explain the different types of benthos

Take your time and move at your own pace as you complete this chapter, which has been written by expert instructors to help you learn these subjects easily. Each one of our lessons is easy to follow and includes a short self-assessment quiz to help assess your knowledge. The Dashboard provides a handy way to monitor your progress through the lessons and submit any questions that come up along the way to an instructor.

9 Lessons in Chapter 11: Ocean Basins, Layers & Continental Shelves
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types

1. Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types

Ocean basins are those areas found under the sea. They can be relatively inactive areas where deposits of sediment slowly collect or active areas where tectonic plates meet. Learn how ocean basins form and about features such as oceanic ridges and trenches.

Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

2. Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

The oceanic ridge system is a continuous underwater mountain range with parts found in every ocean of the world. The ridge system is created when magma rising between diverging plates of the lithosphere cools and forms a new layer of crust.

Mid-Ocean Ridge: Definition, Facts, Formation & Example

3. Mid-Ocean Ridge: Definition, Facts, Formation & Example

Mid-ocean ridges...on the surface, it sounds obvious what these might be, but there are complicated forces that create them. Here, you will learn what mid-ocean ridges are, where they are, how they are created, and what makes them fascinating geological formations.

Continental Slope: Definition & Facts

4. Continental Slope: Definition & Facts

Continental slopes are one of three parts that make up the under-ocean margin surrounding the continents of the world. In this lesson, you'll learn what they are, where they are, and what some of their characteristics are.

Active & Passive Continental Margins

5. Active & Passive Continental Margins

Continental margins are areas that separate the continental crust and oceanic crust. Discover the differences between the tectonically active continental margins and the relatively quiet passive continental margins.

The Development of Geologic Features of Oceans

6. The Development of Geologic Features of Oceans

The bottom of the ocean is far from flat. The features that we find there are formed by geological and biological processes. In this lesson we look at how these features are formed, as well as the role they play in the global carbon cycle.

What Is the Role of Water in the Carbon Cycle?

7. What Is the Role of Water in the Carbon Cycle?

In this lesson, we'll go over the basics of the carbon cycle, then we'll examine the role water plays. We'll look at the role of both oceans and precipitation.

Characteristics of Different Ocean Zones

8. Characteristics of Different Ocean Zones

The oceans can be divided into horizontal and vertical zones. These divisions help us better understand the characteristics of these vast bodies of water. Learn what these zones are in this lesson.

Benthos: Definition, Types & Examples

9. Benthos: Definition, Types & Examples

In bodies of water there exist different levels as you start from the surface and proceed downward. We will be looking into the community in one of the deepest, the benthos community.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.