Ch 3: Ocean Floors & Basins

About This Chapter

If you need help studying the basics of ocean floors and basins, you've reached the right place! This self-paced chapter offers engaging lessons, multiple-choice quizzes and a chapter exam that can quickly boost your knowledge and ensure you're ready to excel on a future test, assignment or project.

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

10 Lessons in Chapter 3: Ocean Floors & Basins
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Active & Passive Continental Margins

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.

Continental Shelf: Definition & Facts

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.

Continental Slope: Definition & Facts

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.

Continental Rise: Definition & Facts

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.

Ocean Basins: Definition, Formation, Features & Types

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.

Oceanic Ridge System: Formation & Distribution

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.

Hydrothermal Vents: Definition & Ecosystem

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.

Abyssal Plain: Definition & Facts

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.

Deep Ocean Trench: Definition & Examples

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.

Island Arc: Definition & Formation

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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