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ocean floor click to hear : ocean floor

Part of the Earth’s surface beneath the seas and the oceans; its topography is highly variable.
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continental margin continental shelf guyot magma seamount trench volcanic island island arc abyssal hill sea level mid-ocean ridge continent submarine canyon continental slope continental rise abyssal plain

continental margin click to hear : continental margin

Underwater extension of the continent; it comprises the continental shelf, the continental slope and the continental rise.

continental shelf click to hear : continental shelf

Section of the continental margin extending from the coast of the continent to the continental rise; its depth is no more than 200 meters.

guyot click to hear : guyot

Ancient volcano whose summit has been cut off by erosion and then submerged.

magma click to hear : magma

Molten rock and gas under very high pressure that can reach extremely high temperatures.

seamount click to hear : seamount

Isolated mountain of volcanic origin featuring a pointed summit.

trench click to hear : trench

Extremely deep elongated depression bordering a continent or island arc; it occurs when one tectonic plate moves under another.

volcanic island click to hear : volcanic island

Volcano whose summit rises above sea level.

island arc click to hear : island arc

String of volcanic islands formed when two tectonic plates meet.

abyssal hill click to hear : abyssal hill

Rounded underwater rise of low elevation.

sea level click to hear : sea level

Mean water level observed for a given duration (day, month, year); it is used as a reference to define coastal features and calculate the elevation of topographical elements.

mid-ocean ridge click to hear : mid-ocean ridge

Group of underwater mountain chains criss-crossing the oceans; it is formed by an outpouring of magma.

continent click to hear : continent

A collective term for the vast landmasses and their submerged margins.

submarine canyon click to hear : submarine canyon

Deep valley that is frequently the extension of a river; it ends in a sediment buildup.

continental slope click to hear : continental slope

Slope of a few degrees that extends from the continental shelf; it is 200 to 2,000 meters deep.

continental rise click to hear : continental rise

Gently sloping section of the continental margin; it connects the continental slope to the abyssal plain.

abyssal plain click to hear : abyssal plain

Zone located at a depth of 2,000 to 6,000 meters; it covers most of the ocean floor.