About This Chapter
Ocean Floors & Basins - Chapter Summary
This chapter is designed to help you gain a quality understanding of ocean floors and basins. Whether you know a little or a lot about the oceanic ridge system, abyssal plain, continental shelf or hydrothermal vents, this chapter can bolster your knowledge. Choose any lessons to study in the sequence you desire and visit as often as you would like to enhance your comprehension. If you have questions about topics covered in the lessons, don't hesitate to submit them to our experts. When you're ready to test your grasp of the lesson materials, be sure to take our mini quizzes and chapter exam. Upon completion of this chapter, you will be prepared to do the following:
- Compare and contrast active and passive continental margins
- Define and share facts about continental shelf, slope and rise
- Explain the types, features, and formation of ocean basins
- Describe the formation and distribution of the oceanic ridge system
- Discuss hydrothermal vents
- Share the definition of an abyssal plain
- Provide examples of a deep ocean trench
- Explain the formation of an island arc
1. 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.
2. Continental Shelf: Definition & Facts
After reading this lesson, you will be able to explain what a continental shelf is. You'll also be able to describe what happens beneath your feet as you walk out to sea and list some facts about continental shelves. A short quiz will follow.
3. 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.
4. Continental Rise: Definition & Facts
If you had to guess, would you think a continental rise is a mountain in the middle of a continent? It's a fair assumption, but not a correct one. Here you will find out what the continental rise is, where they're found, and what creates them.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Hydrothermal Vents: Definition & Ecosystem
This lesson will help you understand what hydrothermal vents are and the impressive creatures that live in these harsh ecosystems. We'll talk about what animals make a home here and the adaptations that allow them to survive.
8. Abyssal Plain: Definition & Facts
If you have no idea what an abyssal plain is, your imagination is likely to come up with some depressing images ('abyssal' sounds pretty close to 'abysmal,' after all). Here you will learn what an abyssal plain actually is, what it looks like and what lives there.
9. Deep Ocean Trench: Definition & Examples
Ocean trenches are pretty impressive geological features - so it's too bad we can't easily see them. But here you will learn what they are, how they are formed, and what makes them so impressive.
10. Island Arc: Definition & Formation
Island arcs are abundant in the Pacific Ocean and make up a part of the famous Ring of Fire. These islands are volcanoes that have formed on the ocean floor and are accompanied by deep trenches.
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? Study.com 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.
Other chapters within the Earth Science 105: Introduction to Oceanography course